What is Litigation?
05-Jul-2021 | Article by Legal White Official
Do you remember back in school, when a kid hurt you, you go to the teacher to complain about them, she takes both of you to her office, then she decides whose fault it was, who should apologies and who should get a toffee? Accordingly, in law, when someone causes you injury, you go to the court where your lawyer defends you, a judge will hear your problem, if your case wins, you are paid compensation. This entire process is called litigation.
What does Litigate mean in law?
To litigate means is to take legal action for the settlement of the matter. According to the Collins dictionary, litigation is the process of fighting or defending a case in a civil court of law. If a party wants to take legal action, he/she can hire a litigator, who will, on their client's behalf, represent them in the court and ask for a remedy. The court procedures in India are known to be very long and complicated. Litigation is an unending process and can be a very overwhelming and frustrating journey for the clients. As a country practicing common law, India has an adversary system of dispute resolutions. Although, Litigation is one of the methods to practice dispute resolutions, Arbitration, Mediation and Conciliation are also known methods that can be practiced anytime during the proceedings or before it. They act as a shortcut in the litigation process, skipping the court procedures and agreeing to settle outside.
Who is involved in the litigation process?
People that are usually involved in a civil litigation process are the plaintiffs (the one filing a suit against someone), the respondent (against whom the claim is), the litigators (lawyers representing them in the process) and the judge. In criminal litigation, the plaintiff remains the same, whereas the accused becomes the defendant. The plaintiff and respondent/defendant are called Litigants -someone who is involved in a lawsuit. After a suit or a claim has been filed, the litigators get to work. Now it’s up to the clients to decide whether they want to avoid the whole trial process or settle the matter outside of court. If settled outside, the parties then meet and come to a mutual agreement. If they still can’t resolve their differences, the case goes to trial, then it’s a long couple of months of next dates, bringing evidence and coming to a conclusion. As India has a history of long, pending cases, it’s no surprise how long a litigation process might take to conclude. The litigation finally comes to an end once the court reaches a decision.
Litigation varies from case to case; it can be tort or breach of contract; or any other personal injury. Litigators have a legally obligated duty to help their clients and defend them in their civil lawsuits. Being a litigator means taking rounds of the courthouse wearing a proper courthouse uniform.
In movies that show the Indian court system, two lawyers wearing a black gown with a white shirt and black pants, defending their clients, in front of a judge, represent litigation. As the current judicial system is evolving and adapting, improving the litigation process is also crucial.