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The Court System



The court system was designed to adjudicate disputes between parties, protect society against harm, and preserve individual liberties. The judge's role is to be an impartial decision maker and oversee the litigation process. Any claim brought to court must establish the court's jurisdiction and follow the applicable procedures. The litigation process includes filing the complaint, responding to the complaint, discovery, trial, and appeals. Parties can resolve their disputes outside court through alternative dispute resolution methods. The most common of these methods include mediation, arbitration, neutral evaluation, and collaborative law.

At A Glance

  • Courts play an important role in adjudicating disputes between parties. In civil cases, the court protects and establishes property and individual rights and liberties, while in criminal cases, the court protects and establishes liberty rights. Not all wrongs can be brought before a court, and those that can must follow specific procedures.
  • Law is a process characterized by conflicting sides, and the judge is an impartial finder of both fact and law.
  • When a dispute is brought before a court, the proper jurisdiction must be established.
  • There are basic procedures for filing a lawsuit. The litigation process includes statement of claim, statement of defense, discovery, and trial. In certain situations a decision may be appealable.
  • Alternative dispute resolution is a blanket term that covers many types of actions, including mediation, arbitration, neutral evaluation, and collaborative law.
  • Business leaders must understand the complications, advantages, and disadvantages of resolving conflicts through arbitration.