A lawsuit is a civil action brought in a court of
law by a plaintiff seeking relief from the court
against the party named as the the defendant.
Lawsuits can be brought for a large number of
reasons such as breach of contract, seeking damages
from an accident or other incident, seeking punitive
damages if allowed by law, seeking an injunction to
stop an action, for real estate disputes, dog bites,
etc., etc. The list is endless. In most
instances, a lawsuit contains a request for monetary
After hearing both parties present the complaint,
the evidence, supporting case law, the redress being
requested and the defense, the judge or jury decides
if the plaintiff's case is valid under the law and, if
so, issues an appropriate judgment in favor of the
plaintiff. A judgment may or may not be for what
the plaintiff had requested. Also, the defendant
may answer the complaint to the court with a counter
suit asking for redress from the plaintiff.
Civil lawsuits are not always between individuals.
They can include corporations, partnerships,
municipalities, governments and other legal entities.
In the United States a lawsuit can be brought
against anyone for practically any legal reason.
Many lawsuits are called frivolous lawsuits because
the complaint if over a very small or ridiculous issue
and the intent is to either find a sympathetic jury
that will award an unreasonable judgment or the
defendant will settle with the plaintiff for a sum of
money just to avoid the hassle of dealing with the
Unfortunately, in most civil cases the
responsibility of paying the legal expenses of
defending oneself from a lawsuit cannot be recovered
from the plaintiff even if the defense is successful.
This is one reason the U.S. is suffering from an
epidemic of frivolous lawsuits. Some countries
require that the losing party pay the legal expenses
of both parties. The fear of losing and having
to pay all attorney's fees for both sides prevents
many from bringing frivolous suits in those countries.