civil litigation

Have you found yourself in a dispute where money is involved, and the other party isn’t upholding their end of the agreement? It may be time to engage in civil litigation to bring the issue to a resolution and allow everyone to move forward with their project. Civil litigation has the effect of bringing all parties to the table for the purpose of getting one party to perform as contracted or take the matter before a judge and/or jury when no one can come to an agreement. It may not be a resolution you prefer to take, but sometimes it’s your best option.

How the Civil Litigation Process Works

In order to engage in civil litigation, you or your organization need to retain a lawyer to start the process. This doesn’t mean that you go straight to filing a court case, however. Instead, the lawyer gets the details of the dispute you’re engaged in, and contacts the non-performing party to discuss the issue. How the lawyer approaches the non-performing party depends on the situation, details of the dispute, and what makes the most sense.

Negotiating With the Non-Performing Party

In many cases, the next step is to attempt to negotiate an agreement or settlement that both parties can agree to. If the a matter can be resolved prior to a lawsuit, that can be documented and executed in order to bring the matter to a close. Sometimes negotiation fails and the case needs mediation, arbitration, or has to go to court.

Why Mediation and/or Arbitration?

Mediation and Arbitration both seek to avoid the need to go to court to settle the dispute. The parties work with professional neutral parties, typically an experienced attorney or retired judge, who seeks to resolve the matter. In a mediation, the mediator assists the parties in negotiating an resolution that all parties agree to. In an arbitration, the arbitrator acts in a manner similar to a judge, but typically in a private setting and with less formal procedures than a trial in court.

Sometimes, court is best or only option for seeking a resolution. Going to court means asking a judge or jury to decide the matter and create a binding result that is legally enforceable. This process varies widely depending on the type and complexity of the dispute.