Lawsuit

Lawsuit

Overview
A lawsuit or "suit in law" is a civil action brought in a court
Court
A court is a form of tribunal, often a governmental institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law...

 of law in which a plaintiff
Plaintiff
A plaintiff , also known as a claimant or complainant, is the term used in some jurisdictions for the party who initiates a lawsuit before a court...

, a party who claims to have incurred loss as a result of a defendant
Defendant
A defendant or defender is any party who is required to answer the complaint of a plaintiff or pursuer in a civil lawsuit before a court, or any party who has been formally charged or accused of violating a criminal statute...

's actions, demands a legal
Legal remedy
A legal remedy is the means with which a court of law, usually in the exercise of civil law jurisdiction, enforces a right, imposes a penalty, or makes some other court order to impose its will....

 or equitable remedy
Equitable remedy
Equitable remedies are judicial remedies developed and granted by courts of equity, as opposed to courts of common law. Equitable remedies were granted by the Court of Chancery in England, and remain available today in most common law jurisdictions. In many jurisdictions, legal and equitable...

. The defendant
Defendant
A defendant or defender is any party who is required to answer the complaint of a plaintiff or pursuer in a civil lawsuit before a court, or any party who has been formally charged or accused of violating a criminal statute...

 is required to respond to the plaintiff's complaint. If the plaintiff is successful, judgment will be given in the plaintiff's favor, and a variety of court order
Court order
A court order is an official proclamation by a judge that defines the legal relationships between the parties to a hearing, a trial, an appeal or other court proceedings. Such ruling requires or authorizes the carrying out of certain steps by one or more parties to a case...

s may be issued to enforce a right
Right
Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory...

, award damages, or impose a temporary or permanent injunction
Injunction
An injunction is an equitable remedy in the form of a court order that requires a party to do or refrain from doing certain acts. A party that fails to comply with an injunction faces criminal or civil penalties and may have to pay damages or accept sanctions...

 to prevent an act or compel an act.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Lawsuit'
Start a new discussion about 'Lawsuit'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Recent Discussions
Encyclopedia
A lawsuit or "suit in law" is a civil action brought in a court
Court
A court is a form of tribunal, often a governmental institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law...

 of law in which a plaintiff
Plaintiff
A plaintiff , also known as a claimant or complainant, is the term used in some jurisdictions for the party who initiates a lawsuit before a court...

, a party who claims to have incurred loss as a result of a defendant
Defendant
A defendant or defender is any party who is required to answer the complaint of a plaintiff or pursuer in a civil lawsuit before a court, or any party who has been formally charged or accused of violating a criminal statute...

's actions, demands a legal
Legal remedy
A legal remedy is the means with which a court of law, usually in the exercise of civil law jurisdiction, enforces a right, imposes a penalty, or makes some other court order to impose its will....

 or equitable remedy
Equitable remedy
Equitable remedies are judicial remedies developed and granted by courts of equity, as opposed to courts of common law. Equitable remedies were granted by the Court of Chancery in England, and remain available today in most common law jurisdictions. In many jurisdictions, legal and equitable...

. The defendant
Defendant
A defendant or defender is any party who is required to answer the complaint of a plaintiff or pursuer in a civil lawsuit before a court, or any party who has been formally charged or accused of violating a criminal statute...

 is required to respond to the plaintiff's complaint. If the plaintiff is successful, judgment will be given in the plaintiff's favor, and a variety of court order
Court order
A court order is an official proclamation by a judge that defines the legal relationships between the parties to a hearing, a trial, an appeal or other court proceedings. Such ruling requires or authorizes the carrying out of certain steps by one or more parties to a case...

s may be issued to enforce a right
Right
Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory...

, award damages, or impose a temporary or permanent injunction
Injunction
An injunction is an equitable remedy in the form of a court order that requires a party to do or refrain from doing certain acts. A party that fails to comply with an injunction faces criminal or civil penalties and may have to pay damages or accept sanctions...

 to prevent an act or compel an act. A declaratory judgment
Declaratory judgment
A declaratory judgment is a judgment of a court in a civil case which declares the rights, duties, or obligations of one or more parties in a dispute. A declaratory judgment is legally binding, but it does not order any action by a party. In this way, the declaratory judgment is like an action to...

 may be issued to prevent future legal disputes. Although not as common, lawsuit may also refer to a criminal action, criminal proceeding, or criminal claim.

A lawsuit may involve dispute resolution
Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution is the process of resolving disputes between parties.-Methods:Methods of dispute resolution include:* lawsuits * arbitration* collaborative law* mediation* conciliation* many types of negotiation* facilitation...

 of private law
Private law
Private law is that part of a civil law legal system which is part of the jus commune that involves relationships between individuals, such as the law of contracts or torts, as it is called in the common law, and the law of obligations as it is called in civilian legal systems...

 issues between individual
Individual
An individual is a person or any specific object or thing in a collection. Individuality is the state or quality of being an individual; a person separate from other persons and possessing his or her own needs, goals, and desires. Being self expressive...

s, business entities or non-profit organization
Non-profit organization
Nonprofit organization is neither a legal nor technical definition but generally refers to an organization that uses surplus revenues to achieve its goals, rather than distributing them as profit or dividends...

s. A lawsuit may also enable the state
State (polity)
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...

 to be treated as if it were a private party in a civil case, as plaintiff or defendant regarding an injury, or may provide the state with a civil cause of action to enforce certain laws.

The conduct of a lawsuit is called litigation. One who has a tendency to litigate rather than seek non-judicial remedies is called litigious. The plaintiffs and defendants are called litigants and the attorneys representing them are called litigators.

Rules of procedure and complications in lawsuits


Rules of criminal or civil procedure
Civil procedure
Civil procedure is the body of law that sets out the rules and standards that courts follow when adjudicating civil lawsuits...

 govern the conduct of a lawsuit in the common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 adversarial system
Adversarial system
The adversarial system is a legal system where two advocates represent their parties' positions before an impartial person or group of people, usually a jury or judge, who attempt to determine the truth of the case...

 of dispute resolution. Procedural rules are additionally constrained/informed by separate statutory law
Statutory law
Statutory law or statute law is written law set down by a legislature or by a legislator .Statutes may originate with national, state legislatures or local municipalities...

s, case law, and constitutional provisions that define the rights of the parties to a lawsuit (see especially due process
Due process
Due process is the legal code that the state must venerate all of the legal rights that are owed to a person under the principle. Due process balances the power of the state law of the land and thus protects individual persons from it...

), though the rules will generally reflect this legal context on their face. The details of procedure differ greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and often from court to court within the same jurisdiction. The rules are very important for litigants to know, however, because they dictate the timing and progression of the lawsuit—what may be filed and when, to obtain what result. Failure to comply with the procedural rules may result in serious limitations upon the ability to present claims or defenses at any subsequent trial, or even dismissal of the lawsuit.

Though the majority of lawsuits are settled and never reach trial, they can be very complicated to litigate. This is particularly true in federal
Federalism
Federalism is a political concept in which a group of members are bound together by covenant with a governing representative head. The term "federalism" is also used to describe a system of the government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and...

 systems, where a federal court may be applying state law (e.g., the Erie doctrine
Erie doctrine
In United States law, the Erie doctrine is a fundamental legal doctrine of civil procedure mandating that a federal court in diversity jurisdiction must apply state substantive law....

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

) or vice versa, or one state applying the law of another, and where it additionally may not be clear which level (or location) of court actually has jurisdiction
Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility...

 over the claim or personal jurisdiction over the defendant. For example, about 98 percent of civil cases in the United States federal courts
United States federal courts
The United States federal courts make up the judiciary branch of federal government of the United States organized under the United States Constitution and laws of the federal government.-Categories:...

 are resolved without a trial. Domestic courts are also often called upon to apply foreign law, or to act upon foreign defendants, over whom they may not, as a practical matter, even have the ability to enforce a judgment if the defendant's assets are outside their reach.

Lawsuits become additionally complicated as more parties become involved (see joinder
Joinder
Joinder is a legal term, which refers to the process of joining two or more legal issues together to be heard in one hearing or trial. It is done when the issues or parties involved overlap sufficiently to make the process more efficient or more fair...

). Within a "single" lawsuit, there can be any number of claims and defenses (all based on numerous laws) between any number of plaintiffs or defendants, each of whom can bring any number of cross-claims and counterclaims against each other, and even bring additional parties into the suit on either side after it progresses. However, courts typically have some power to sever claims and parties into separate actions if it is more efficient to do so, such as if there is not a sufficient overlap of factual issues between the various claims.

The progress of a lawsuit


The following is a generalized description of how a lawsuit may proceed in a common law jurisdiction:

Pleading



A lawsuit begins when a complaint is filed with the court. This complaint will state that one or more plaintiffs is seeking damages or equitable relief from one or more stated defendants, and will identify the legal and factual bases for doing so. It is important that the "plaintiff selects the proper venue with the proper jurisdiction to bring his lawsuit." The clerk of a court signs or stamps the court seal upon a summons
Summons
Legally, a summons is a legal document issued by a court or by an administrative agency of government for various purposes.-Judicial summons:...

, which is then served
Service of process
Service of process is the procedure employed to give legal notice to a person of a court or administrative body's exercise of its jurisdiction over that person so as to enable that person to respond to the proceeding before the court, body or other tribunal...

 by the plaintiff upon the defendant, together with a copy of the complaint. This service notifies the defendants that they are being sued and that they have a specific time limit to file a response. By providing a copy of the complaint, the service also notifies the defendants of the nature of the claims. Once the defendants are served with the summons and complaint, they are subject to a time limit to file an answer
Answer
Generally, an answer is a reply to a question or is a solution, a retaliation, or a response that is relevant to the said question.In law, an answer was originally a solemn assertion in opposition to some one or something, and thus generally any counter-statement or defense, a reply to a question...

 stating their defenses to the plaintiff's claims, including any challenges to the court's jurisdiction, and any counterclaims they wish to assert against the plaintiff.

In a handful of jurisdictions (notably, the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

) a lawsuit begins when one or more plaintiffs properly serve a summons and complaint upon the defendant(s). In such jurisdictions, nothing needs to be filed with the court until a dispute develops requiring actual judicial intervention.

If the defendant chooses to file an answer within the time permitted, the answer must address each of the plaintiffs' allegations by admitting the allegation, denying it, or pleading a lack of sufficient information to admit or deny the allegation. Some jurisdictions, like California, still authorize general denials of each and every allegation in the complaint. At the time she or he files an answer, the defendant will also raise all "affirmative" defenses she or he may have. She or he may also assert any counterclaims for damages or equitable relief against the plaintiff, and in the case of "compulsory counterclaims," must do so or risk having the counterclaim barred in any subsequent proceeding. The defendant may also file a "third party complaint" in which she or he seeks to join another party or parties in the action if she or he believes those parties may be liable for some or all of the plaintiff's damages. Filing an answer "joins the cause" and moves the case into the pre-trial phase.

Instead of filing an answer within the time specified in the summons, the defendant can choose to dispute the validity of the complaint by filing a demurrer
Demurrer
A demurrer is a pleading in a lawsuit that objects to or challenges a pleading filed by an opposing party. The word demur means "to object"; a demurrer is the document that makes the objection...

 (in the handful of jurisdictions where that is still allowed) or one or more "pre-answer motions," such as a motion to dismiss. The motion must be filed within the time period specified in the summons for an answer. If all such motions are denied by the trial court, and the defendant loses on all appeals from such denials (if that option is available), then the defendant must file an answer.

Usually the pleading
Pleading
In law as practiced in countries that follow the English models, a pleading is a formal written statement filed with a court by parties in a civil action, other than a motion...

s are drafted by a lawyer
Lawyer
A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person who is practicing law." Law is the system of rules of conduct established by the sovereign government of a society to correct wrongs, maintain the stability of political...

, but in many courts persons can file papers and represent themselves, which is called appearing pro se. Many courts have a pro se clerk
Pro se clerk
A pro se clerk is a clerk of the court, employed by the court and found in the courthouse. This clerk assists people appearing pro se to participate in legal actions by providing forms which need to be filled out and explaining some basic rules...

 to assist people without lawyers.

Pretrial discovery


The early stages of the lawsuit may involve initial disclosures of evidence by each party and discovery
Discovery (law)
In U.S.law, discovery is the pre-trial phase in a lawsuit in which each party, through the law of civil procedure, can obtain evidence from the opposing party by means of discovery devices including requests for answers to interrogatories, requests for production of documents, requests for...

, which is the structured exchange of evidence
Evidence (law)
The law of evidence encompasses the rules and legal principles that govern the proof of facts in a legal proceeding. These rules determine what evidence can be considered by the trier of fact in reaching its decision and, sometimes, the weight that may be given to that evidence...

 and statement
Deposition (law)
In the law of the United States, a deposition is the out-of-court oral testimony of a witness that is reduced to writing for later use in court or for discovery purposes. It is commonly used in litigation in the United States and Canada and is almost always conducted outside of court by the...

s between the parties. Discovery is meant to eliminate surprises and clarify what the lawsuit is about, and to make the parties realize they should settle or drop frivolous claims and defenses. At this point the parties may also engage in pretrial motion practice in order to exclude or include particular legal or factual issues before trial.

At the close of discovery, the parties may either pick a jury
Jury
A jury is a sworn body of people convened to render an impartial verdict officially submitted to them by a court, or to set a penalty or judgment. Modern juries tend to be found in courts to ascertain the guilt, or lack thereof, in a crime. In Anglophone jurisdictions, the verdict may be guilty,...

 and then have a trial by jury
Jury trial
A jury trial is a legal proceeding in which a jury either makes a decision or makes findings of fact which are then applied by a judge...

 or the case may proceed as a bench trial heard only by the judge if the parties waive a jury trial or if the right to a jury trial is not guaranteed for their particular claim (such as those under equity in the U.S.) or for any lawsuits within their jurisdiction.

Trial and judgment


At trial, each person presents witnesses and enters evidence into the record, at the close of which the judge or jury renders their decision. Generally speaking, the plaintiff has the burden of proof in making his claims. The defendant may have the burden of proof on other issues, however, such as affirmative defense
Affirmative defense
A defendant offers an affirmative defense when responding to a plaintiff's claim in common law jurisdictions, or, more familiarly, in criminal law. Essentially, the defendant affirms that the condition is occurring or has occurred but offers a defense that bars, or prevents, the plaintiff's claim. ...

s.

There are numerous motions that either party can file throughout the lawsuit to terminate it "prematurely"—before submission to the judge or jury for final consideration. These motions attempt to persuade the judge, through legal argument and sometimes accompanying evidence, that because there is no reasonable way that the other party could legally win, there is no sense in continuing with the trial. Motions for summary judgment
Summary judgment
In law, a summary judgment is a determination made by a court without a full trial. Such a judgment may be issued as to the merits of an entire case, or of specific issues in that case....

, for example, can usually be brought before, after, or during the actual presentation of the case. Motions can also be brought after the close of a trial to undo a jury verdict that is contrary to law or against the weight of the evidence, or to convince the judge that she or he should change his decision or grant a new trial.

Also, at any time during this process from the filing of the complaint to the final judgment, the plaintiff may withdraw his or her complaint and end the whole matter, or the defendant may agree to a settlement. If the case settles, the parties might choose to enter into a stipulated judgment with the settlement agreement attached, or the plaintiff may simply file a voluntary dismissal
Voluntary dismissal
Voluntary dismissal is when a lawsuit is terminated by voluntary request of the plaintiff . A voluntary dismissal with prejudice is the modern descendant of the common law procedure known as retraxit.In the United States, voluntary dismissal...

, so that the settlement agreement is never entered into the court record.

Appeal


After a final decision has been made, either party or both may appeal
Appeal
An appeal is a petition for review of a case that has been decided by a court of law. The petition is made to a higher court for the purpose of overturning the lower court's decision....

 from the judgment if they believe there had been a procedural error made by the trial court. Even the prevailing party may appeal, if, for example, they wanted a larger award than was granted. The appellate court
Appellate court
An appellate court, commonly called an appeals court or court of appeals or appeal court , is any court of law that is empowered to hear an appeal of a trial court or other lower tribunal...

 (which may be structured as an intermediate appellate court) and/or a higher court will then affirm the judgment, decline to hear it (which effectively affirms it), reverse, or vacate and remand, which involves sending the lawsuit back to the lower trial court to address an unresolved issue, or possibly for a whole new trial. Some lawsuits go up and down the appeals ladder repeatedly before finally being resolved.

Some jurisdictions, notably the United States, prevent parties from relitigating the facts on appeal due to a history of unscrupulous lawyers deliberately reserving such issues (the "invited error" problem) in order to ambush each other in the appellate courts. The idea is that it is more efficient to force all parties to fully litigate all relevant issues of fact before the trial court. Thus, if a party does not raise an issue of fact at the trial court level, he or she generally cannot raise it upon appeal. Furthermore, appellate courts in such jurisdictions will not question the facts as found by a judge or jury in the trial court as long as there was some evidence in the record to support such findings, even if the appellate judge himself or herself would not have personally believed the underlying evidence if he or she had been present in the trial court when such evidence was entered into the record.

When the lawsuit has finally been resolved, or the allotted time to file an appeal has expired, the matter is res judicata
Res judicata
Res judicata or res iudicata , also known as claim preclusion, is the Latin term for "a matter [already] judged", and may refer to two concepts: in both civil law and common law legal systems, a case in which there has been a final judgment and is no longer subject to appeal; and the legal doctrine...

. The plaintiff is precluded from bringing an action resulting from the same claim again. In addition, other parties who later attempt to re-litigate a matter already ruled upon from a previous lawsuit will be estopped from doing so.

Enforcement


When a final judgment is entered, the plaintiff is usually barred under the doctrine of res judicata
Res judicata
Res judicata or res iudicata , also known as claim preclusion, is the Latin term for "a matter [already] judged", and may refer to two concepts: in both civil law and common law legal systems, a case in which there has been a final judgment and is no longer subject to appeal; and the legal doctrine...

from trying to bring the same or similar claim again against that defendant, or from relitigating any of the issues, even under different legal claims or theories. This prevents a new trial of the same case with a different result, or if the plaintiff won, a repeat trial that merely multiplies the judgment against the defendant.

If the judgment is for the plaintiff, then the defendant must comply under penalty of law with the judgment, which will usually be a monetary award. If the defendant fails to pay, the court has various powers to seize any of the defendant's assets located within its jurisdiction, such as:
  • Writ of execution
    Writ of execution
    A writ of execution is a court order granted in an attempt to satisfy a monetary judgment obtained by a plaintiff. When issuing a writ of execution, a court typically will order a sheriff or other similar official to take possession of property owned by a judgment debtor...

  • Bank account garnishment
    Garnishment
    A garnishment is a means of collecting a monetary judgment against a defendant by ordering a third party to pay money, otherwise owed to the defendant, directly to the plaintiff...

  • Liens
  • Wage garnishment


If all assets are located elsewhere, the plaintiff must file another suit in the appropriate court to seek enforcement of the other court's previous judgment. This can be a difficult task when crossing from a court in one state or nation to another, though courts tend to grant each other respect when there is not a clear legal rule to the contrary. A defendant who has no assets in any jurisdiction is said to be "judgment-proof." The term is generally a colloquialism to describe an impecunious defendant.

Indigent judgment-proof defendants are no longer imprisoned; debtor's prisons have been outlawed by statute, constitutional amendment, or international human rights treaties in the vast majority of common law jurisdictions.

History of the term "lawsuit"


During the 18th and 19th centuries, it was common for lawyers to speak of bringing an "action" at law and a "suit" in equity. The fusion of common law and equity in England in the Judicature Acts
Judicature Acts
The Judicature Acts are a series of Acts of Parliament, beginning in the 1870s, which aimed to fuse the hitherto split system of courts in England and Wales. The first two Acts were the Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1873 and the Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1875 The Judicature Acts are a...

 of 1873 and 1875 led to the collapse of that distinction, so it became possible to speak of a "lawsuit". In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure govern civil procedure in United States district courts. The FRCP are promulgated by the United States Supreme Court pursuant to the Rules Enabling Act, and then the United States Congress has 7 months to veto the rules promulgated or they become part of the...

 (1938) abolished the distinction between actions at law and suits in equity in federal practice, in favor of a single form referred to as a "civil action."

In England and Wales
England and Wales
England and Wales is a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. It consists of England and Wales, two of the four countries of the United Kingdom...

 the term "claim" is far more common; the person initiating proceedings is called the claimant.

American terminology is slightly different, in that the term "claim" refers only to a particular count (or cause of action) in a lawsuit. Americans also use "claim" to describe a demand filed with an insurer or administrative agency. If the claim is denied, then the claimant (or policyholder or applicant) files a lawsuit with the courts and becomes a plaintiff.

In medieval times, both "action" and "suit" had the approximate meaning of some kind of legal proceeding, but an action terminated when a judgment was rendered, while a suit also included the execution of the judgment.

See also


  • Actio popularis
    Actio popularis
    An actio popularis was an action in Roman penal law brought by a member of the public in the interest of public order.The action exists in some modern legal systems. For example, in Spain, an actio popularis was accepted by Judge Garzón in June 1996 which charged that certain Argentine military...

  • Compensation culture
    Compensation culture
    "Compensation culture" describes a society in which it is acceptable for anyone who has suffered a personal injury to seek compensatory damages through litigation from someone connected with the injury...

  • Frivolous litigation
    Frivolous litigation
    In law, frivolous litigation is the practice of starting or carrying on law suits that, due to their lack of legal merit, have little to no chance of being won. The term does not include cases that may be lost due to other matters not related to legal merit...

  • Jonathan Lee Riches
    Jonathan Lee Riches
    Jonathan Lee Riches is a prisoner known for the many lawsuits he has filed in various United States district courts. Riches is incarcerated at Federal Medical Center Lexington Kentucky, for wire fraud under the terms of a plea bargain. His projected release date is March 23, 2012...

  • Lawyer
    Lawyer
    A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person who is practicing law." Law is the system of rules of conduct established by the sovereign government of a society to correct wrongs, maintain the stability of political...

  • List of environmental lawsuits
  • Personal injury
    Personal injury
    Personal injury is a legal term for an injury to the body, mind or emotions, as opposed to an injury to property. The term is most commonly used to refer to a type of tort lawsuit alleging that the plaintiff's injury has been caused by the negligence of another, but also arises in defamation...

  • Restorative Justice
    Restorative justice
    Restorative justice is an approach to justice that focuses on the needs of victims, offenders, as well as the involved community, instead of satisfying abstract legal principles or punishing the offender...

  • Revenge
    Revenge
    Revenge is a harmful action against a person or group in response to a grievance, be it real or perceived. It is also called payback, retribution, retaliation or vengeance; it may be characterized, justly or unjustly, as a form of justice.-Function in society:Some societies believe that the...

  • Thirteenth stroke of the clock
    Thirteenth stroke of the clock
    Thirteenth stroke of the clock or "thirteen strikes of the clock" is a phrase, saying, and proverb to indicate that the previous events or "strokes to the clock" must be called into question. This is illustrated in the case "Rex vs Haddock" in which a remark by a witness is compared to the...

  • Tort reform
    Tort reform
    Tort reform refers to proposed changes in common law civil justice systems that would reduce tort litigation or damages. Tort actions are civil common law claims first created in the English commonwealth system as a non-legislative means for compensating wrongs and harm done by one party to...

  • Legal defense fund
    Legal Defense Fund
    In the United States, a legal defense fund is an account set up to pay for legal expenses, which can include attorneys' fees, court filings, litigation costs, legal advice, or other legal fees. The fund can be public or private and is set up for individuals, organizations, or for a particular...

  • Legal financing
    Legal financing
    Legal financing, also known as litigation financing, professional funding, settlement funding, or third party funding is a generic term used to describe the mechanism or process through which litigants can finance their litigation or other legal costs through a third party funding company...