Sometimes the only way to resolve a dispute with another party is through civil litigation. But litigation can be intimidating, particularly if you're on the receiving end of a lawsuit. If you've been named as the defendant in a lawsuit, hire a litigation attorney as quickly as possible. You have a limited period of time to respond after being served with the summons, complaint and notice of the lawsuit. A litigator can read the legal paperwork, review the necessary evidence, talk to witnesses and then develop a strategy to respond to the lawsuit. Often an out-of-court settlement is the ideal response for both the plaintiff and the defendant--but it may take the threat of litigation to bring both parties to the table to negotiate a mutually agreeable resolution. If a settlement can't be reached, your litigation lawyers can represent you during the trial and vigorously advocate on your behalf.