Quiz 2: The Court System and Dispute Resolution
i) The first step in a lawsuit for the plaintiff is filing a complaint, describing what was wronged. ii) After a complaint is filed the plaintiff must serve defendant with process. i.e. the defendant must be alerted that he is involved in a lawsuit. The defendant must respond to the process. If the defendant fails to respond after plaintiff exhaustive methods to serve process, the court may enter default judgment against defendant. iii) The defendant may make a counterclaim against the plaintiff, e.g. she hit me first or motion to dismiss , ask the court to dismiss the case based on the ground that there is no actual complaint or remedy at law. iv) Once lawsuit proceeds there will be discovery on both sides. Both parties will find evidence and may request for relevant evidence from each other. Evidence may include business documents, witness testimony, expert witness, emails, medical reports, etc. that are relevant to the case. After discovery if there are no facts in dispute both parties may motion for summary judgment , let the judge decide who is right as a matter of law. v) A jury trial , trial heard by jury, may be requested if not then a bench trial , trial heard only by judge will proceed. During the trial attorneys will make their opening statements, present evidence and question witnesses, and make a summation or closing statement of the case. Both parties can motion for directed verdicts arguing for favorable judgment as matter of law. vi) The judge can call for a mistrial if there was misconduct that required a new trial. If not the judge will give jury directions and juries will grant a verdict. (In bench trial only judge grants verdict). The judge may amend jury's verdict or grant judgement n.o.v. that is a judgment notwithstanding jury's verdict. vii) The losing side will have a right to appeal.
In today's world time is an important and most valuable element for businesses. Every second is treated as money. Businesses are required to compete in a huge competitive world by making the best use of time and resources. In spite of well written contracts and agreements disputes are bound to happen. The disputes if any has to be resolved as quickly as possible in order to restore the things back to normal. Business disputes can be resolved through court or through alternative dispute mechanism. Most of the business try to resolve the disputes through alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and try to avoid court because: • The legal procedure and paper work involved is more through court procedure • The lawyers are expensive to be hired and more money has to be invested for court processes • Courts consume lot of time due to many legal steps Therefore, to save time and money, businesses use alternate dispute resolution (ADR) methods. ADR refers to settling disputes outside the court using any of the ADR methods such as neutral evaluation, negotiation, mediation, conciliation and arbitration. Business persons prefer to ADR methods due to the following advantages: • ADR methods takes less time to resolve the dispute than a court • ADR methods costs less money compared to high expenditure spent on lawyers and court fees • The parties in ADR can have more flexibility in choosing what rules will be applied to their dispute • Both the parties can select the person who is an expert in the relevant field for a dispute arbitrated or mediated • Both the parties get a chance to explain things more clearly and discuss the actual issues, which cannot be feely discussed in courts • Both the parties can express their terms of future agreements and can discuss on legal as well as non-legal issues Therefore, in order to have a speedy and informal resolution of disputes, ADR methods are most preferred than courts. ADR methods however suffer from few drawbacks and have some disadvantages as below: • Arbitrators or mediators have a limited authority and their decisions are usually not final and binding due to less legal validity • Arbitrator cannot change the terms and conditions and if any party shows their dis consent, the decisions cannot be implemented • Chances of power imbalances and lack of neutrality in the process may not solve the dispute • Incompetent third party may not give better judgement and may exercise more control over the process In spite of the above disadvantages, ADR methods are viewed as significant resolution methods that save time and money by business person.
R is in criminal violation of a Federal statute, Economic Espionage Act (EEA). Criminal violation of EEA tends to involve interstate activities as well. Hence, it is proper for the Federal District Court to have original jurisdiction.