Meaning of Litigation in law

The meaning of Litigation in law is the process to resolve the issue or dispute arising between two or more parties by Filing or answering the complaint in the court of law. In most civil cases, the parties dispose of their dispute arising after the formation of a contract with the help of an agreement by adding a third party to solve their dispute like the appointment of a mediator. But they can also go to the court of law to take the final decision of the court to dispose of the dispute.

Litigation meaning

According to the meaning of litigation, “it is the process of taking a legal action by the parties with Locus Standi in the court so that the judgement can be made to solve the matter”. In Latin, litigation is known as litigatio. If the parties in the dispute fail to resolve the issue outside the court, they can take the help of the court of law.

Legal litigation is a general term and it involves a number of legal actions and steps. People always feel confused in lawsuits and litigation. These two terms are different from each other. We can say that the lawsuit is just a part of litigation. It is a whole process of the case from the beginning to the end of the case. It starts from the pre-negotiation and ends on the judgement of the case.

Litigation includes

The court hearing is not only part of litigation. It includes many other processes which are:

Court hearing

The court hearing means any proceedings in the court before a judge in the court of law. In the court hearing, the pieces of evidence and other related documents are presented in front of the judge to determine the issues of the case and to give the judgement on the basis of pieces of evidence produced in the court.


Arbitration is a process to dispute the dispute that arose between two parties that are legally bound. In the arbitration process, parties appoint the arbitrator to hear the case and decide the case. The arbitration process is one of the best solutions to solve the case with a speedy trial.

Issuance of restraining orders

It is granted by the court against a person or party to prohibit him from contacting or violating any rights of another party.

Temporary custody orders

It is the decision of the court to provide custody of anything with a person. It can be temporary or permanent depending on the case.

Normally the legal litigation ends after the final decision of the court. But, If a party is not satisfied by the decision of the court and file the appeal in the upper court, the appeal will also be considered as part of the legal litigation.

What kind of cases can be solved with the help of litigation?

There are many types of cases that can be resolved with the help of the litigation process. These cases include:

Process of litigation

The legal Litigation process is a lengthy process. It includes many steps to end the litigation:

The incident

It is the first event from where the litigation process comes into existence. Any breach, omission of duty or any injury give the rise to the lawsuit.

Here we will take the example of a breach of a contract done between two parties. The incident is breach occurred in the contract.

Appointment of litigation lawyer

Once you found that any incident has been done by the party who is in the capacity to contract. The second step is to appoint the litigation lawyer to deal with the case.

 What is a litigator?

A litigator is a litigation lawyer that handles the litigation process in a civil case by taking the power of attorney from the client. Litigators either can represent the plaintiff or can represent the defendant in the civil matter. Litigation lawyers are professionals in their field.

What does a litigation lawyer do?

A legal litigation lawyer is also known as a litigation attorney. He works as a litigator in the case. There are many working of the litigation lawyer such As:

  • He can file suit on the behalf of the client.
  • Research of legal issues.
  • Legal advice in the disputed matters
  • Drafting of legal documents
  • Capable to fight the case before the court of law
  • Helps to find the necessary documents for the case
  • Can file the appeal in the court

Gathering pieces of evidence of the case

Collect all the necessary data related to the case. Any lawsuit can only be filed on the basis of proof. It is important in every case to collect the necessary documents and proof to file the case in the court of law. For example, when a breach of contract has been done, you should collect a copy of the written contract. Proof of breach etc.

Filing the lawsuit

It is the main step in the process of litigation. A lawsuit starts when a plaintiff files the plaint in court. The plaint includes the facts of the case, names and addresses of all the parties. Filing a complaint requires the payment of the court fees.

After the filing of the plaint, the court may pass the order for the service of summons to the defendant and all the necessary parties of the case.

The summons is information to the defendant that a civil case has been instituted again him and order him to present in the court at a specific time with the written statement.


Under the discovery, both the parties use to get the information from another side. It is a long process that includes:

  • To answer the interrogatories.
  • Provide necessary documents related to the case
  • To deny or agree on the facts provided in the plaint and written statement
  • File the counterclaim


After the discovery process, the court asks both parties for the settlement. The parties can take the help of mediation to settle their dispute. The court can help the parties to appoint the mediator. A mediator is a person who can be a retired judge or experienced lawyer. He is the neutral party in the dispute and tries to resolve the case without going for further trial. It is the alternative of a court trial to dispose of the case with the help of mediation. But the mediator cannot force any party to settle the dispute.

Court trial

If the parties of the case are unable to settle the dispute with the help of mediation, the case proceeds for further trials in the court. Under the trial, the parties can produce pieces of evidence to prove their side. The judge hears both sides of the case.


After the court trial, the judge of the case passes the judgement in the favor of one party. Either it could be the plaintiff or the defendant. The lawsuit is over after the judgement.


After the judgement in the case, mostly the case is closed, but sometimes, it happens that the party who found guilty in the court is not satisfied by the judgement. In that case, the party has the right to file the appeal in the upper court. Under the appeal, the litigation process still remains continue.

Now, it depends upon the upper court that either they can dismiss the appeal or can accept the appeal and starts the same procedure to hear the case once again.

Types of litigation

Although there are many types of litigation, here, we will talk about two main branches of litigation. These two branches cover all other types of litigations:

Civil litigation

Civil litigation is an institution of a private lawsuit in a civil matter. The civil litigation between two or more parties is presented in front of the civil court to resolve the matter. A plaint filed by the plaintiff in a case of breach of contract is an example of civil litigation.

Criminal litigation

Criminal litigation refers to the process to resolve a criminal case in the criminal courts. Criminal litigations are different from civil litigation as it deals with criminal cases and the State is the one party in the criminal case which impose the criminal charges against the individual or group of individuals.

Difference between criminal litigation and civil litigation

  • Criminal litigation deals with criminal cases under criminal law whereas civil litigation deals with civil cases civil law like contract law etc
  • Criminal litigations are brought by the state against the individual. But, civil litigation is a private lawsuit for the dispute arising between two parties.
  • Criminal litigations are conducted in the criminal courts whereas the trial of civil litigations is done in civil courts.
  • In criminal litigations, the advocate must prove all the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, every oral and documentary evidence are important in criminal litigation whereas civil trials need the least evidence.
  • The maximum punishment in criminal litigation is imprisonment for life, whereas the punishment under civil trial is not must strict.
  • The public prosecutor fights the case from the side of the state under criminal cases whereas, in civil litigations, the parties appoint their personal advocates.


The meaning of Litigation in law is the process to resolve the issue or dispute arising between two or more parties by Filing or answering the complaint in the court of law. It is a lengthy process that starts from the institution of suit and end on the judgement of the case. This process is done by appointing the litigator known as a litigation lawyer who fights the case on the behalf of his client.

Legal litigation can be filed in various types of cases like in the matter of company and even in the cases related to void or voidable marriages.

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1 thought on “Meaning of Litigation in law”

  1. Thanks for educating me about how the legal definition of litigation is the procedure used to settle a disagreement or issue between two or more parties by filing a lawsuit or responding to one. You also added that it is a drawn-out procedure that begins with the filing of the lawsuit and ends with the decision in the case. This will be of great help to people who needs the help of a civil litigation attorney that can help them have reduced sentence for their indictments. Thanks for providing this.


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