Civil Litigation FAQ
What Is the Statute of Limitations?
The statute of limitations is the time period within which a lawsuit must be filed against another party, person or business, or will be forever time-barred. Certain acts can toll or extend the statute of limitations, however, and will vary depending on the cause of action or underlying claim. If you or your company have legal claims to enforce, it is important to act quickly on your rights and to promptly consult with an attorney regarding the merits of your claims and whether it is advisable to file a lawsuit.
What Is Discovery?
Discovery is the process by which parties to litigation seek to obtain evidence from the opposing side that is relevant to the claims and defenses raised in the lawsuit. In most cases, pre-trial discovery can be lengthy, and will typically include written questions and requests for the production of documents and depositions.
What Is Arbitration & Mediation?
Arbitration and mediation are forms of alternative dispute resolution and are often relied upon in the legal process to resolve cases without the need and unnecessary expense of a formal trial.
Arbitration, is generally more formal than mediation, but most closely resembles that of trial; both parties are given an opportunity to explain their positions in front of the “judge” or Arbitrator, and attorneys can also question witnesses and present evidence. During arbitration, there are usually little if any out-of-court negotiations between parties. At the conclusion, the ruling by the Arbitrator is a legally binding decision that both parties must honor.
Mediation, on the other hand, involves using a neutral third party to act as a guide or negotiator. A trained mediator agrees to hear both sides of a dispute objectively, but the main focus remains on the two parties as they work towards a mutually beneficial solution.