Litigation indicates the existence of a legal dispute between two parties (natural or legal persons) arising from the incompatibility of interests between them: it is resolved through legal procedures that involve lawyers and judges.
Definition of litigation
To understand what litigation is (also called legal conflict), let’s simply imagine a situation in which a natural or legal person tries to condition another through some act or omission.
In this scenario, there are two factors: the party that wants to impose or condition, and the party that claims its rights: a conflict of interest is taken for granted and verified, with the consequent potential damage for both parties.
A satisfactory outcome can’t emerge from this dispute, so the only way to solve it is to go to the relevant justice bodies, where a judge will apply the law to rule in favor of one party or another or to apply a sentence as fairest possible.
To proceed in this way, both parties must have proper legal representation in the person of lawyers who present the causes of the dispute in front of the court, and provide evidence that can tip the balance of justice in one direction or another.
Concept of legitimacy
The reason why the parties involved in litigation decide to undertake this process to defend their interests is that they firmly believe in the legitimacy of their claims or, at least, that is how they intend to prove it.
It is said that something is legitimate when it is protected by law: thus, a legitimate person can claim his rights before the judicial authority when he acts as a plaintiff.
Elements of a dispute
- The disputed points
They are the constituent object of the dispute between both parties: it must be verified that there is a legal conflict on one or more specific aspects, in such a way that the judicial procedure will exclusively affect the object of the dispute.
- The parts
The parties (or litigants) refer to the subjects who present conflicting positions or claims. In general, disputes are made up of two parties, but it may be the case that there are several parties that conflict with one another, and this fact is known as joint litigation.
- Contradictory claims
They are, in themselves, the positions that the parties defend to justify their position: they comprise the set of reasons that each party argues to claim their rights.
- The judicial authority
It comprises the body of justice in charge of conducting the litigation procedure, which is the judge or court that has attributed the powers over the case (courts of the first instance, investigation, among others).
- The judicial process
It refers to the procedural aspects that determine how the litigation has to be carried out: depending on the nature of the litigation, they will be included in one or another legal regulation.
- Тhe legal discovery process
Тhe legal discovery process is a formal process for the exchange of information between parties about witnesses and the evidence that will be presented at trial. This allows the parties to know, before the start of the trial, what evidence can be presented.
information between the parties about the witnesses and evidence
- Litis in law
The Litis concept is a legal technicality used for the parties (litigants) to formalize their claim before the relevant courts and consists of three distinct phases: what happens before, during, and after litigation.
- Litis lock
The barrier to litigation are the procedures that are given before the litigation ends in the courts: the demand is drawn up and it is sent to the defendant, who has a period (usually short) to answer.
Joint litigation occurs once the claim has been filed, as long as an indication of several litigants in the process is accredited: joint litigation cannot be applied in cases of individual litigants.
The joint litigation proceeds when several parties litigate among themselves, distinguishing between the active joint litigation (plurality of plaintiffs) and the passive joint litigation (plurality of defendants); If the plurality is credited in both parts, we are facing mixed consortium litigation.
- Lis pendens
When litigation does not end with a final judgment, a legal effect called lis pendens (pending litigation) is created; it is used as an exceptional measure that postpones the discussion of the case in the future.
In addition, the lis pendens originates that another procedure cannot be initiated in a different court for the same conflict because it is already being resolved in another court.
If a final judgment falls on the litigation and its resolution is issued, it is given as a finalized procedure (res judicata), and such conflict cannot be brought to trial again.
In a hypothetical scenario of repetition of the same litigation with the same litigants as protagonists, the defendant can appeal for this legal effect: in this case, the judge will have to dictate an act of dismissal, which renders the claim ineffective and prevents the holding. of the oral trial.