Whenever two parties are in disagreement and need a judge or court to resolve the dispute, the controversy is commonly referred to as litigation. Litigation cases consist of disputes that arise from a variety of factual circumstances and differ from criminal cases.
The term litigation is the most common type of dispute resolution. Sometimes, the parties can come to an agreement through mediation and then no awards are made. Arbitration is an alternate type of dispute solution, where awards are granted without the presence of a judge or jury.
Who can get involved in litigation?
Anybody can and everybody does get involved in litigation. Disagreements and disputes occur on a daily basis while the number of U.S. litigation cases in uncountable. You might disagree with a fee you have been charged for a car repair, while the mechanic is convinced that the price is perfectly fair. You might have a dispute with your ex-spouse about the furniture that you bought together etc.
Litigation cases can involve disputes between individuals, individuals and businesses or individuals and government agencies.
How do I know whether I should sue or try alternate dispute resolutions?
This is where lawyers are important. Based on many different factors of your particular case, a lawyer will advise you to make a certain decision he will suggest one approach over another. Based on the nature of the case, the evidence that is already established and the surrounding circumstances, a lawyer will be able to estimate how long a typical trial will take and he will know what the better, more advantageous move for you will be.
What is mediation?
Mediation refers to the process of hiring a neutral third party, a mediator, which then will get involved in the dispute and try to facilitate the conflict resolution between the two parties. The mediator is usually a retired judge who will learn about both versions of the dispute and then gives an assessment as to how the parties could adjust or settle the dispute. The parties, however, do not have to agree with the mediator and mediation is therefore not binding.
What is a contingency fee?
In certain types of cases, attorneys are willing to work on a contingency basis and you do not have to pay legal fees until the case is won. If the case is won, the lawyer will receive a certain percentage of the damages awarded to you and if you lose the case, there won’t be a legal fee at all for the lawyer.
If you are paid $100,000 and you pay 40 percent contingency fee to your lawyer, that leaves you with $60,000. On that same note, if you recover $50,000 with a lower contingency fee of 20 percent, you are only awarded $40,000.
Who will pay for my out of pocket expenses?
Lawyers individually decided whether they will advance the expenses on your case or not, depending on the severity of the case and his/her judgment about your ability to follow through with the matter. Usually the expenses cover filing fees, record maintenance, transcripts, expert witnesses and travel expenses. If you win your case, the added up amount will be deducted from your recovery payment.