It is very common in any business to encounter disputes. It could be unavoidable, but it needs to be settled immediately because it would definitely affect the relationship of everybody in the business, including the business itself. In some cases, alternative dispute resolutions are used to resolve disputes, but there are instances when it needs to undergo the process of litigation.
Litigations or the conduct of lawsuit may come in three forms. It could be criminal litigations, administrative litigations and civil litigations.
This is a type of litigation wherein a person is being charged of a certain crime. When somebody breaks a federal or state law, he commits a crime against the society. That person will undergo criminal proceeding that will be conducted by the government on behalf of the community. Such criminal proceeding is done to hold the offender responsible.
Consequently, criminal litigation is between the government and the accused, also called defendant.
In most states, crimes are divided into two: misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are offense which results in less than one year of jail time that includes breaking or entering, possession of a small amount of drugs and petty theft.
Whereas, felonies are more serious offenses more likely results in prison terms of more than one year and may include a fine and incarceration as well. Felonies include murder, rape, kidnapping, and racketeering.
Usually, criminal litigations are long because it requires a full-blown trial in order to comply with the stipulations of the law regarding the right of the defendant to be heard.
Additionally, the guilt of the accused must be proven beyond reasonable doubt, or else, he will be pronounced innocent.
Administrative litigations involve cases that are basically administrative in nature. Unlike in criminal litigations, a person who was charged of an administrative case will not be imprisoned if he was found guilty. The sanction will be removal from the position that the charged person has previously held.
The administrative litigation process commences when the commission sets a proceeding for hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ).
An ALJ is an official who presides at an administrative trial-type hearing to resolve a dispute between a government agency and a person who was affected by a decision of that agency. He is also the decision maker and the one who administers oaths, takes testimony, rules on questions of evidence and make accurate and factual legal determinations.
The Chief Administrative Law Judge on the other hand assigns a presiding judge and sets a hearing schedule.
This is a lawsuit between two or more people or entities that does not seek for criminal sanctions.
Civil litigations do not involve incarceration as a form of punishment like criminal cases. Typically, the primary sanction that the law imposes on charged persons is the imposition of award of damages to the victims.
In civil litigations, there is no imprisonment or removal from a specific position as punishment. The remedy sought here is usually money or a judgment which entails the person charged to do something or to stop doing something.
Civil litigations are broad in nature and encompass a wide scope. Usually, cases in civil litigations involve the negligent conduct of someone else which resulted to personal injuries of another person. Such cases include accident cases, breach of contract cases, landlord/tenant cases, business disputes, discrimination cases, medical malpractice, etc.