Save Big on Taxes with Expert Assisted ITR Filing from ₹799!

Got an ITR notice? Talk to our CA for the right response.

Litigation Vs Lawsuit

Litigation and lawsuits are quite different from each other. While litigation refers to the procedure of handling a lawsuit, the lawsuit refers to the actual dispute between the parties.

Litigation vs Lawsuit: Although the terms litigation and lawsuit sound synonymous they are pretty distinctive from each other. Litigation refers to the process of opting for legal action for a dispute between two or more parties. A lawsuit on the other hand is the claim or the dispute itself submitted before the courts of law. Lawsuits pertaining to dispute resolution, in general, are related to private law matters between individuals or organisations. Litigation refers to a legal proceeding, excluding the final action prescribed during a lawsuit. It also does not include the actions pursued after taking up a lawsuit, in order to enforce a legal right. Litigation is the process of taking over or conducting a lawsuit. Litigation is concerned with the judicial proceedings conducted in the court over a lawsuit. While a lawsuit is concerned with civil law, judicial proceedings can be either civil or criminal. Therefore, litigation merely refers to the process of bringing up a lawsuit and not the lawsuit itself.

In litigation, the plaintiff and defendant/respondent who appear before the Court of law are referred to as the litigants, and the lawyers appearing for them are called litigators. The legal issues in the court are resolved through litigation. Once the litigator presents the case to the court, the process of litigation begins. The process of litigation can be lengthy and complicated, let alone expensive. For this very fact, the parties even resort to getting the dispute settled through alternative dispute resolution methods. 

In this article let’s see about Litigation vs Lawsuit.

Litigation Vs Lawsuit

If you’re not a legal expert, you may think that “litigation” and “lawsuit” are interchangeable terms. However, there are some important differences between litigation vs lawsuit. Understanding these differences is essential if you find yourself involved in a legal dispute.

When it comes to the differences between litigation vs lawsuit, one key distinction is that litigation encompasses a broader range of legal procedures and strategies than a lawsuit. In addition to lawsuits, litigation can also involve alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation and arbitration, as well as pretrial motions, evidentiary hearings, and appeals.

Another difference between litigation vs lawsuit, is that litigation is often a longer and more complex process than a simple lawsuit. Litigation may involve multiple stages and can take months or even years to resolve. In contrast, a lawsuit may be resolved relatively quickly, particularly if the parties are able to reach a settlement agreement.

It’s important to note that while litigation can be an effective way to resolve legal disputes, it’s not always the best option. Litigation can be time-consuming, costly, and emotionally draining, particularly if the case goes to trial. In some cases, alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation may be a more efficient and less stressful way to resolve a legal dispute.

In addition to the differences between litigation vs lawsuit, there are also legal procedures and timelines, there are also differences in the level of control that the parties involved in a legal dispute have over the outcome. In a lawsuit, the outcome is ultimately determined by a judge or jury, who hear evidence and arguments from both sides before making a decision. This means that the parties have limited control over the outcome of the case.

Types of Litigation

Litigation is too broad a term to categorise. Yet, it can broadly be classified into the following types:

  •   Litigations pertaining to personal injuries, like parties seeking damages for losses
  •   Public Interest Litigations (PIL) are initiated in the best interests of the public
  •   Litigations to settle civil disputes
  •   Litigations connected to Intellectual Property Rights
  •   Commercial Litigation is dealt with when disagreements arise between individuals or companies.
Facing legal challenges? Consult our Litigation lawyer now!

Types of Lawsuits

A lawsuit in general refers to civil cases. A lawsuit is initiated in the court of law, in order to materialise a legal remedy for the aggrieved party, who has suffered due to the actions of the defendant. Based on the merits of the case, the judgment is made favoring either the plaintiff or the defendant. The most common types of civil suits are:

  •   Tort suits are initiated when a party suffers a personal injury due to the negligence of some other party
  •   Breach of Contract claims are instituted when contracts or agreements are violated
  •   Equitable claims that handle restraining orders and injunctions
  •   Disputes that arise between landlords and tenants.

Procedure Involved in Litigation

The process of Litigation starts from the preliminary groundwork initiated by the lawyers. Thereafter an extensive time frame of legal transactions and negotiations between the parties involved take place until a settlement is arrived at. Most often a trial may not even be needed if the settlement is reached merely through negotiations. At times, not only will the disputed land be in a trial but may proceed for an appeal as well, in the higher courts.

Litigation also accommodates pre-lawsuit formalities such as facilitation, arbitrations, issuance of notices, and initiating appeals. Litigation is not limited to this but may also proceed into a legal trial after these processes.

Procedure Involved in Filing a Lawsuit

A civil lawsuit involved the following steps:

1. Filing of the Suit:

The first step in filing a lawsuit is filing the plaint, which is the written complaint or the allegation from the aggrieved party. The plaint contains the details like the name of the court, details of the parties to the dispute, the subject matter of the dispute, submissions made by the parties, etc.

2. Vakalatnama:

The parties contending the dispute in the court must authorise an advocate to act on their behalf before the Court of law through a Vakalatnama.

3. Court Fee:

The value proportional to the total value of the claim should be deposited as the court fee along with the stipulated stamp duty as per the Court Fees Act, 1870.

4. Court Hearing:

The preliminary step in the court hearing would be to weigh the merits of the case. A notice will thereafter be sent to the opposition, calling for their side of the argument. After issuing the notice, the plaintiff is required to deposit the court fee and file the plaint copies.

5. Defendant’s Written Statement:

The defendant has to appear before the court as mentioned in the notice thus issued. A written statement has to be filed mentioning the points of defence against the allegations made by the plaintiff within 30 days from the date of service of the notice.

6. Filing of Replication:

After the written statement is filed, the plaintiff is required to file a replication, which is essentially a reply to the written statement. The replication should specifically deny the defences made in the written statement by the defendant.

7. Filing of Other Documents:

After the preliminary filing procedures, the parties are allowed to file the necessary documents and proofs to substantiate their statements. The documents that are submitted for the perusal of the court must be original and a copy shall be provided to the opposition.

8. Framing of Issues Involved:

The next step in a lawsuit is the framing of the issues on the basis of arguments and submissions made by the parties. The final order would address every issue thus framed.

9. Examination and Cross-Examination of Witnesses:

Within 15 days from the date of fixating the issues, the parties have to produce their witnesses. Once the list of witnesses is submitted by the parties, the court sends the summons to them. On the date of the hearing, the witnesses will face examination and cross-examination by the lawyers of either of the parties and thereafter the date of the final hearing will be fixed by the court.

10. Final Hearing:

On the day of the final hearing, the arguments pertaining to the issues framed will be carried out. On hearing the same, the final order is issued on the same day or another day as fixed by the court. If required, the parties can revise their pleadings before the final hearing with the permission of the court.


In conclusion, while “litigation” and “lawsuit” are often used interchangeably, there are some important difference between litigation vs lawsuit . Litigation refers to the broader process of resolving legal disputes through the court system, while a lawsuit specifically refers to the legal action that one party initiates against another in court. Understanding these difference between litigation vs lawsuit can help you navigate the legal system more effectively and choose the best course of action for your particular situation.


What is the difference between litigation and judiciary?

The difference between litigation and judiciary lies in their nature and role. Litigation refers to the legal process of resolving disputes through the court system, involving legal actions and proceedings. The judiciary, on the other hand, represents the system of courts and judges responsible for interpreting and applying the law.

What is litigation in the court of law?

Litigation in the court of law involves the legal process of bringing and contesting a case before a court. It encompasses the entire legal action, from the filing of a complaint to the resolution of the dispute through court proceedings, often requiring the involvement of lawyers, witnesses, and evidence.

What is the difference between suit and case?

The difference between a suit and a case lies in terminology. A 'suit' generally refers to a civil legal action initiated by one party against another, seeking a legal remedy. A 'case' is a broader term encompassing both civil and criminal proceedings. Essentially, all suits are cases, but not all cases are suits.

What is the definition of a litigator?

A litigator is a legal professional, typically an attorney, specialising in litigation. A litigator represents clients in court proceedings, advocating for their interests in disputes. Their role involves preparing legal documents, presenting cases in court, and navigating the complexities of the legal system to ensure a fair and just resolution for their clients.

Read more,

Subscribe to our newsletter blogs

Back to top button


Remove Adblocker Extension