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What Is Civil Litigation? Civil litigation can be loosely defined as a legal process in which criminal charges and penalties are not at issue. When two or more parties become embroiled in a legal dispute seeking money or another specific performance rather than criminal sanctions, civil litigation is the result. They must instead head to the courtroom for trial so a judge or jury can decide the matter.

A lawyer who specializes in civil litigation is known as a “litigator” or a “trial lawyer.” They represent clients across a broad spectrum of associated proceedings, including pretrial hearings and depositions, as well as arbitration or mediation before administrative agencies or court personnel. Arbitration and mediation are processes that attempt to guide the parties toward settlement without the time and expense of going to court. 

CIVIL LITIGATION: