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What is litigation?

When you want to take someone to court, you'll go through the process of litigation. In real estate, there's always a chance that you may need to sue or pursue a claim in court. Perhaps a contract is breached or a tenant does not pay on time. Regardless of the event, if you want the court to hear your case, this is the process you need.

Litigation can be criminal or civil. In most cases involving citizens or businesses, the cases are civil. In cases where someone has violated a federal or state law, the case may be criminal. Both cases can run simultaneously or one following the other, depending on what has happened.

When you know you want to take a case to court, you'll want to talk to your real estate attorney about his or her experience litigating cases in the field. Your attorney will want to see information about your case and then take time to investigate the facts of the case. There are many early steps that have to be taken to make sure you have a strong case before you can take it to court.

In the case that you lose your civil lawsuit against another party, you can typically appeal that verdict. Your attorney can help walk you through the appeals process, so a new judge or jury may hear your case. An appeal is necessary if you want to question the judge's accuracy in his or her ruling. If the appeals court finds mistakes, then the case has to go back to trial.

Source: FindLaw, "What is Litigation and Appeals?," accessed May 18, 2017

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