American Indian Owned Law Firm

Does civil litigation always result in a trial?

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2024 | Civil Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Business owners and successful professionals sometimes end up embroiled in conflicts involving other companies, customers or even employees. There could be a breach of contract that occurs or perhaps claims regarding unfair competition within a niche of the local economy.

Business owners and executives sometimes reach the conclusion that the best option available given the circumstances is to initiate civil litigation. Civil lawsuits can resolve contract breaches and other issues that could negatively affect a business. The courts can award plaintiffs damages, order specific performance or even issue an injunction to prevent certain behavior.

Does the decision to file a lawsuit against another party mean that a trial in court is inevitable?

The vast majority of lawsuits settle

Researchers have a hard time agreeing on a specific percentage, but the vast majority of civil lawsuits result in the case settling instead of going to trial. Often, the decision of one party to file a lawsuit leads to negotiations.

A party previously refusing to communicate or compromise might agree to sit down to address the dispute after getting served with lawsuit documents. In some cases, alternative dispute resolution could be a way to settle the matter before the case goes to trial.

Both arbitration and mediation involve cooperating with a neutral professional to review the conflict and look for a solution. Arbitration is a process similar to court that involves an arbitrator reviewing both sides of the scenario and determining what they believe is fair. Mediation is more of a collaborative process that focuses on compromise. The mediator helps guide the necessary discussions.

Both arbitration and mediation may require that the parties involved sign a document to prevent the case from going to court. Otherwise, if they do not reach an agreement, litigation may still be necessary. Those contemplating alternative dispute resolution options usually do not want to dismiss their lawsuit until negotiations prove successful, as they might otherwise find themselves unable to take legal action due to the statute of limitations or other complications.

Realizing that filing a lawsuit does not necessarily culminate in a trial may help those running businesses feel more confident about taking legal action over a dispute. Business owners and executives who are aware of settlement statistics and dispute resolution options may find it easier to resolve frustrating business disputes.