Litigation is the process that occurs when a court is asked to determine a dispute between two parties. In criminal cases, those parties are the government and a defendant, and the “dispute” begins with law enforcement officers charging the defendant with a crime. Civil cases, on the other hand, involve two private parties and begin when the plaintiff, the party wronged, serves a statement of claim on the defendant, the party who committed the wrong. Civil litigation usually arises after attempts to resolve the issue privately have failed. Most of the litigation that corporations find themselves involved in is civil in nature.

This entry first discusses the criminal law and the criminal justice system’s process. It then talks about civil lawsuits and the litigation process. It ...

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