No business leader in Hawaii wants to face the prospect of litigation but, let’s face it, sometimes it is inevitable. Companies can face a wide range of potential legal challenges, from partnership and employment disputes to breach of contract or construction issues—and everything in between. No matter what the exact nature of your legal issue is, it is important to understand what you might be able to expect as the litigation plays out.
For starters, litigation typically begins when one party or another files a “complaint” in the appropriate court with proper jurisdiction to hear the dispute. That complaint then needs to be properly “served” by the plaintiff on the defendant in the case. From there, the defendant will have an opportunity to file an “answer.”
Once those initial documents have been filed with the court, litigation can go any number of ways. But, the “discovery” phase usually plays out while the parties are considering the options. In discovery, both sides have the opportunity to gather information from each other, through procedures like written questions, requests for documents and depositions.
How will your case end?
As these initial steps are occurring, both sides of the litigation are usually thinking of how the dispute might be resolved. Will a trial be necessary? Is mediation an option? Can the parties directly negotiate a settlement? There are standard legal steps that most civil lawsuits go through, but business leaders can benefit from thinking of the end goal they hope to achieve—either as plaintiff or defendant in the case.