What is litigation?
Litigation is when one person sues another.
What is the litigation process?
The litigation process differs depending on the type of claim. For example, the process for a defamation claim will differ to a personal injury claim. And the civil litigation process differs from the criminal litigation process. However, the basic steps remain the same.
The basic steps in the litigation process are:
- The claimant files their claim at court, with supporting documentation
- The claimant (or the court) serves the claim on the other party (the respondent)
- The respondent must file a response within a certain time limit. They can either: agree to the claim; defend the claim; or partially defend the claim.
- The parties may have to submit further documents and evidence.
- The parties will come to court, usually first for a pre-trial hearing.
- The matter will proceed to a final hearing. Both sides will be able to give their version of the claim, and can usually present evidence and call witnesses. When witnesses are called, both parties can question them.
- The court will make its decision and make final orders.
- The parties must appeal within time limits if they are unhappy with the decision.
Can the parties reach settlement once the litigation process has started?
The parties are encouraged to reach settlement at any point during the litigation process.
Obviously, the sooner an agreement is reached, the more savings there will be in legal costs, not to mention time and stress. But, even if the matter has started in court, you can still enter into a settlement agreement.
You should always have a solicitor advise you on any settlement offer.
Do you need a solicitor?
Having a solicitor represent you will greatly increase your chances of winning your claim. Even if the law and facts are on your side, a well-argued case can go a long way in convincing a judge and jury.
If you would like to obtain legal advice on the litigation process, Caven can put you in touch with a local litigation solicitor free of charge. Please call us on 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above and we'll call you back.
- Last Updated on 02/03/2010