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Litigation

Litigation is the process of engaging in a civil lawsuit to resolve a dispute. It involves numerous rules and practices required by the court system, and includes a wide range of subject matter, from automobile accidents to evictions to contract disputes. If you have been served with a civil lawsuit, you may have coverage under your LegalShield plan and you should contact Ross & Matthews as quickly as possible. If you need to file a lawsuit, our lawyers are available to give you advice and consultation on the process, and to assist you with representation under the discount referral benefit of your plan.

Important Terms You Need to Know

Alternative Dispute Resolution – A dispute resolution process which does not involve the parties going to a final court hearing to resolve the matter. There are a number of forms of ADR including mediation and arbitration.

Claimant – The person making the claim.

Cause of Action – The reason for which a plaintiff files a complaint or suit against someone. This can be negligence, breach of contract, malpractice or defamation, to name a few. A cause of action is divided into elements, and each element must be proved to win the case.

Defendant/Respondent – Person whom the claim is made against.

Lawsuit – A legal action started by a plaintiff against a defendant based on a complaint that the defendant failed to perform a legal duty, resulting in harm to the plaintiff.

Mediation – A form of ADR that is often used. It involves the parties appointing an independent party to help facilitate a settlement. The parties and their lawyers will usually attend a without prejudice meeting to try and reach settlement.

Privilege – Where documents are privileged the party can refuse to allow inspection of these documents. For example documents created between the client and his legal advisors and correspondence between the legal advisors are subject to legal professional privilege.

Pro se – Latin term meaning “on one’s own behalf”; in courts, it refers to persons who present their own cases without lawyers.

Service – Certain documents, such as the claim form, must be served upon (provided to) the parties. Service must be carried out in accordance with the CPR.

Settlement – Where the parties agree to resolve the claim without going to trial.