A lawsuit refers to a civil action put before the court of law. It begins when a complaint is filed with the court, and it states that a plaintiff is seeking damages relief from the stated defendant. In this case, parties at a loss demand a legal action against the defendant. (Abrams, 2000) Therefore, the defendant is required to respond to the plaintiff’s complaint. It may involve dispute resolution of private law issues between individuals, business units or nonprofit organizations.
Legal Environment of Business
In Charlestone Sofa Super Store which resulted in the deaths of nine fire fighters. Two more lawsuits were filed over the incident bring the total lawsuits to 19. The fire occurred on June 18 2007, but the final day to file the suit was June 18, 2010. The persons responsible for filing the suits were two retired fire fighters and both suits were blamed on negligence and reckless conduct by the owner of the store and the goods supplier. They claimed that the fire code violations, illegal addition of highly flammable goods in the building contributed to the tragedy.
The business community in the recent past was free to organize its legal relations in whichever way. That notation changed towards the end of the 19th century following the increase of industrialization, which had given birth to labor unions. The rise of these labor unions had led to the increase of economic power in the hands of untrustworthy people. These people led to increased injuries in the workplace and to the demand for more reliable consumer protection and product reliability. The regulations were set for the American government to challenge the power of business. This started during the presidency of Reagan and speeded up after congressional elections in 1994 up to date. A research carried out shows that 51 of the world’s largest economies is the corporation and the remaining 49 are nation states.
In Charlestone case, the management had their role to play in order to prevent this tragedy from happening. As we have seen that negligence, the management had an obligation of giving proper skills to the people in charge on how to cope with emergencies. Recklessness as another cause of the tragedy was to be blamed entirely on the management because they allowed excess storage of highly flammable goods that caused the fire. It was their obligation to deny more entry of those goods inside the building.
Under the civil law of the United States, the suit for negligence at faults would pay an equal share of the damages. In this Charlesstone case, the Sofa Super Stores would have to pay amount reduced by 50% if found 50 % at fault.
Sources of Law in the United States of America
The laws in the United States consist of many levels of codified and uncodified forms. The most important of them all is the United States Constitution, the foundation of federal governments of United States and the others are way below it (Feinman, 2006). This is so because no other law can contradict the Constitution. These laws are derived from four sources that are constitutional law, statutory law, administrative regulations and the common law. Both the Constitution and federal law are the supreme law of land hence preventing conflicting state and territorial laws. The administrative law would be applicable in Charlesstone Case. The management would be at the right if they followed this law applied in this case. This would help to avoid such tragedies from happening in the future.
Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods
This technique acts as a means for disagreeing parties to have an understanding. It is a form of court hearing and acts in a way that parties are able to solve their disputes without involving a third party (Otaro, 2008). It is also a method of dissolving disputes in the absence of the judicial process. Charlestone case would have been resolved following the listed resolution processes. Negotiation is among the processes involved in which case participation is voluntary, and the presence of a third party is not important. In meditation, a third party is required as a mediator to facilitate resolution. In collaborative law, each party requires an attorney who aids in facilitation of resolution within specific contract term.
In arbitration, participation is voluntary, and a third party is involved who acts as a judge to impose resolution.
Court operates by distinct. US Supreme Court hears limited set of cases. US Court Claims hears civil claim made against the US Government.
The Court Procedures Used in Every Court is Almost the Same.
For a civil case to be solved, the petitioner files an original proceeding and names a defendant before the court (Feinman, 2006). Therefore, the court serves a copy of the petition of the defendant. The defendant is again given a certain amount of time to answer the allegation stated against him.
The discovery process follows, and the announcement is made for both parties are ordered by the court to appear for a status hearing, and the final propositions are filled. If the jury was requested, the selection follows and then the trial (Georges, 1992). The petitioner opens with a statement and the defense follows. The petitioner together with the witnesses present their case followed by the defense. Towards the end of the session, the petitioner gives the closing statement. The defense team retorts and the instructions are given to the jury to decide the case and an order given. A period of 30 days period is allocated for appeal, and if there is no appeal, then the case is closed.
In a criminal case, a credible witness issues an official declaration charging a crime. If a crime is affirmed, an arrest is made. The court inquires to ensure that the proper arrest was made, a crime is charged, and the date of hearing is set (Feinman, 2006). In such cases, surety is determined upon the sovereignty of the crime. In this case, the information collected during the investigations is released to the defense. After the plea bargaining, the state begins the announcement of its witnesses. The filing of motions is done the trial begins followed by the sentencing if found guilty. The appeal process in all courts is the same. The court does not allow any new trial unless justifying conditions exists. In this case, if an error occurs, a new trial is ordered.
State Court is divided into various forms: Small Claims court deals with small claims. Municipal Courts are charged with hearing the violation of municipal law (Georges, 1992) and traffic tickets. The procedures in these courts are lenient. County Courts depend on what case the state can hear. District Courts hear the cases of criminal level and a certain amount of money matters. Magistrate Court hears a certain type of state cases. District court reviews cases for inaccuracy. State Supreme Court hears appeal from the district court. It is normally charged with determination of state law. Federal Courts in the US government is divided into District courts that hold jurisdiction over some cases. US District bankruptcy court hears fillings for bankruptcy.