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There
are three main parts to civil litigation. The first, known as the pleadings,
occurs when the plaintiff (the person suing) tells their side of the story and
explains that the person they’re suing is responsible for what happened,
whatever it may be. During the pleading, the defendant also tells their side of
the story and has the option to counter claim (sue the person suing them) for
anything that may have happened to them by the plaintiff.

            The second part of civil litigation
is known as the discovery. Both parties take the time to gather every piece of
evidence that supports what they said occurred in their pleading. This could
include physical items like receipts, but it also gives the parties time to get
evaluations of what may have been lost as a result of the interaction between
them and the opposing party.

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            Lastly, the trial occurs, where both
parties actually go to court. Each party has time to make their case and even
use the opposing party’s evidence to support them, if they so wish. Depending
on the case, a decision will be made by a judge with the help of a jury. After
that, there may often be a fourth step known as an appeal. Typically, the
losing party who is upset with the outcome of the trial will ask for an appeal
by a higher ruling court. This court will review the case and either affirm or revert
the judgment from the trial. Additionally, this court can opt to have the trial
redone completely.

            Rather than going through all the
lengthy and costly parts of civil litigation mentioned above, many cases will
choose to settle out of court in one of two ways. One of the ways is
arbitration, where both parties agree upon someone to make a fair judgment for
them. Or by mediation, which is when they can come to a resolution on their
own. I don’t agree with courts requiring alternative dispute resolutions prior
to a lawsuit. If the courts required alternative dispute resolutions to be
pursued prior to going to court, many cases wouldn’t be able to agree upon
someone to arbitrate or resolve the issue on their own. Increasing interaction
between parties in these resolutions might heighten tensions that didn’t exist
previously and by the time the case reaches court parties will be acting in
spite, rather than what’s just. I think the process of court, while it may be
tedious and costly, is still effective. I believe the main reason cases are
resolved in alternate fashions is because the parties just want it to be over
with, and settled. Many cases are unique and it wouldn’t be fair to require the
parties to search for alternative resolutions prior to going to court.