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- Learn the process for starting a lawsuit and identify the parties involved.
- Study the importance of meeting threshold requirements.
- Describe pretrial proceedings, informal negotiations and service of process in civil litigations.
- Learn the defendant's response and motions.
- Understand how jury selection works and describe a jury trial.
- Find out how verdicts are delivered.
- Examine the civil appeals process.
- Discuss alternative forms of dispute resolution.
- Learn the constitutional requirements for a criminal trial.
- Describe the Writ of Habeas Corpus and reasonable doubt.
1. Starting a Lawsuit: Parties & Beginning Process
There are two parties to a lawsuit: the plaintiff, who initiates the lawsuit, and the defendant, who defends against the allegations waged against him. A lawsuit is a process that involves several steps beginning with the filing of a complaint and ending with a judge's or jury's decision.
2. Threshold Requirements: Standing, Case or Controversy & Ripeness
Threshold requirements are conditions that a plaintiff must meet in order to take another person or entity to court. There are threshold requirements for standing, case and controversy and ripeness. With all three, the court will require answers to specific questions to determine whether legal action can be taken against a party.
3. Pretrial Pleadings & Service of Process in Civil Litigation
Before a trial begins, there are several pleadings a plaintiff and defendant must file with the court to set a lawsuit into motion and this is known as the pretrial stage of a trial. Some common pleadings include a complaint, summons, motion to dismiss and motion for judgment.
4. Defendant's Response & Motions in Civil Litigation
Once a plaintiff initiates a civil lawsuit, the defendant must respond within a certain period of time depending on the particular state's requirements. The defendant responds by answering the complaint or filing a motion with the court.
5. Jury Trial and Selection in Civil Litigation
When a civil action leads to a trial, a jury is selected. The selection process general involves the parties or attorneys for the parties to question potential jurors from a pool of jury candidates. Once a jury is selected, the jury trial moves through various steps ending in a final decision.
6. Delivering a Verdict in Civil Litigation
In any court case, the end result is a verdict. However, there are several roads that lead to the verdict, including motion to dismiss, directed verdict, special verdict and judgment notwithstanding the verdict.
7. Civil Appeals Process: Parties, Briefs & Oral Arguments
The civil appeals process allows for a losing party to a lawsuit to request a higher court to review the decision to determine whether legal errors were made during the original trial.
8. Alternative Forms of Dispute Resolution: Negotiation, Mediation & Arbitration
In the eyes of the law, there are several ways a dispute can be settled. Some disputes can simply be negotiated to a win-win outcome. Others may require a third party to assist in coming up with solutions to remedy a situation.
9. Constitutional Requirements of a Criminal Trial
In criminal court, a defendant will rely heavily on his constitutional rights to a fair trial. These rights, specifically the Fifth and Sixth Amendment Rights provide the requirements for a criminal trial. Some rights include right to a speedy trial, right to counsel and a right to an impartial jury. There are several other equally important rights that this important amendment protects.
10. Writ of Habeas Corpus & Reasonable Doubt in a Criminal Trial
In a last ditch effort to be free, a person in custody, after exhausting all appeals and motions, may file a writ of habeas corpus requesting further investigation of his constitutional rights in an attempt to be set free.
11. Preliminary Injunction: Definition & Example
During the course of a lawsuit, it is important to ensure that both parties are treated fairly. This is sometimes done through court ordered injunctions that restrict certain behaviors. This lesson discusses the preliminary injunction.
12. What is a Trademark? - Definition, Registration & Examples
In this lesson we will define what constitutes a trademark. In addition to mentioning a few examples, we will also discuss the federal trademark registration process.
13. What is a Tolling Agreement in Law?
Civil law limits the time for plaintiffs to file certain claims. In this lesson, we will look at how tolling agreements can be used to affect those time limits.
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