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16 Different Types of Litigation (All You Need To Know)

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What are the different Types of Litigation?

What’s important to know about it?

Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!

Let me explain to you all about the most common types of litigation!

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What Are The Types of Litigation

There are different types of litigation that can be instituted by a plaintiff before the courts.

Before getting into the different types of litigation, it’s important to understand what litigation means in the first place.

Most people understand litigation to refer to the process of filing a lawsuit before the court (in other words, to sue someone).

A lawsuit can implicate an individual, company, or government entity.

Litigation can implicate parties in different jurisdictions or even largely include arbitration proceedings.

However, to make things more simple for you, I have prepared a list of the most common types of litigation that are possible.

Keep reading as I will break down the different types of litigation.

Recommended article: Understanding litigation vs arbitration

Different Types of Litigation

Although there are many different types of litigation cases, let’s go over the most common ones.

1- Products Liability Litigation

Product liability litigation refers to lawsuits filed by individuals or companies that have suffered damages due to faulty or defective products.

Very often, an individual may suffer damages caused by a flawed or faulty product where the consumer files a lawsuit against those involved in the creation, distribution, and sale of the product.

2- Civil Rights Litigation

Civil rights litigation is a type of litigation where a person enforces his or her constitutional rights.

Typically, civil rights litigation relates to the protection of individuals against discrimination and other rights afforded by the constitution to all American citizens.

Civil rights cases can involve the protection of a person’s right to vote, protection against discrimination in public places, an individual’s ability to access public services, and so on.

3- Tort Litigation And Mass Tort

Tort litigation relates to lawsuits filed by individuals that have suffered damages by another’s negligence, gross negligence, or misconduct.

Mass tort is related to tort cases with the difference that there are many plaintiffs involved all having a similar case against a single defendant.

In this type of litigation, the plaintiff’s objective is to seek compensatory damages from the defendant for the injuries suffered by the defendant’s wrongdoing.

Recommended article: What is tortious interference 

4- Intellectual Property Litigation

Intellectual property litigation is based on intellectual property laws that are designed to protect inventions, copyrights, trade secrets, trademarks, and other intellectual property rights.

When a person or company violates another’s patent, the plaintiff can file an intellectual property lawsuit to enforce its patent rights.

The objective here is to protect the information or material that companies and individuals spend a lot of time and money developing. 

5- Environmental Litigation

Environmental litigation refers to a type of case where a party is sued for having acted or behaved in violation of environmental laws.

For a long time now, the government has adopted laws and statutes intended to protect the environment and punish those who act in a way as to cause harm to it.

Companies that are found to act in violation of environmental laws will be sued to have them cease harming the environment and to compensate for the damages caused.

6- Securities Law Litigation

Securities law litigation refers to legal cases involving individuals and companies that violate securities laws relating to how companies are managed.

For instance, you can have company executives execute trades qualified as insider trading.

You may have companies issue shares to the public without complying with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s registration requirements.

Securities law litigation can include cases of fraud and other wrongdoings that harm investors and the public in general.

Recommended article: What is fiduciary duty

7- Consumer Litigation

A large number of litigation cases involve consumers filing lawsuits against merchants or businesses.

Consumer litigation relates to any type of legal action involving a consumer of goods or services and an individual or merchant offering those goods.

Consumer litigation can relate to false and misleading advertisements, false labeling of products, breach of contract, warranty issues, refund and exchange issues, damages caused to consumers, or others.

8- Antitrust Litigation

Antitrust litigation is a specific type of litigation that is filed against companies to protect consumers by promoting fair competition.

When companies wield significant market power, they may influence the market in such a way as to make the competition more difficult and raise prices.

Ultimately, consumers will lose by having to pay more for products and services that should have cost less in a normally functioning competitive market.

The Federal Trade Commission in the US will consider antitrust measures against companies to ensure that competition remains healthy, and products and services are given with high quality and at low prices.

9- Privacy and Data Security Litigation

Following the global pandemic, many businesses have decided to go online or enhance their online presence.

In this context, data privacy and data security issues have become important for regulators and consumers.

Data privacy and protection law litigation can include the misuse of a consumer’s personal information, the sale of personal information to third parties, failure to make proper disclosures to consumers, and so on.

Companies doing business internationally must assess their global exposure to data protection and privacy so they remain compliant and avoid litigation from consumers or regulators.

Recommended article: What are liquidated damages

10- Employment Litigation

In business, one very common type of litigation relates to employment.

Employment litigation is something that nearly all companies are exposed to and many of them have dealt with it at some point in time.

Employment litigation includes things like unjust termination, illegal practices, discrimination at the workplace, workplace injuries, and so on.

Companies must ensure that they hire, manage, and terminate employees by observing various labor laws applicable in different jurisdictions.

11- Contractual Litigation

Contractual litigation broadly refers to any type of litigation that is based upon a contractual relationship.

This can include a wide range of disputes such as:

  • License agreement disputes
  • Distribution contract disputes
  • Reseller contract disputes
  • Manufacturing contract disputes
  • Sales contract disputes
  • Indemnification agreement disputes
  • Non-compete agreement disputes
  • Non-disclosure agreement disputes
  • Sale and purchase of business disputes
  • Sale and purchase of assets or property disputes
  • Breach of contract claims 
  • Contractual warranty claims 
  • Service contract claims 

Litigation based on virtually any type of contract is classified as a contractual dispute.

12- Debt Collection Litigation

Debt collection litigation is a type of case where a party is looking to collect unpaid invoices or fees from another.

Companies issue invoices to their clients and customers on a daily basis.

In some cases, there are some customers that do not pay for various reasons.

When a company has taken all the steps possible to collect what’s owed and the customer still does not pay, a lawsuit can be filed to collect the debt and go after the debtor’s assets.

Recommended article: What are economic damages

13- Personal Injury Litigation

Personal injury litigation, as the name implies, is a type of litigation involving a person injured by another.

A person can get injured for many reasons, such as:

  • Medical malpractice
  • Automobile accident
  • Due to negligence
  • Breach of duty of care
  • Workplace accidents
  • Dog bites
  • Intentional torts
  • Slip and fall cases
  • Premises liability 
  • Wrongful death

Typically, in personal injury cases, the plaintiff will seek compensatory damages from the defendant.

In some cases, the defendant will be condemned to pay punitive damages as well.

14- Property Law Litigation

Property law litigation takes place when parties end up in court relating to a particular property.

Property law disputes can relate to tangible or intangible property.

For example, when a person’s property is damaged or stolen, the plaintiff suffers damages to their real property (tangible property).

On the other hand, if a company’s trademarks are misused, the company suffers damages relating to its intangible property.

Property law litigation can also relate to land or real estate properties as well.

15- Family Law Litigation

Family litigation is a very common type of litigation where the parties involved are members of the same family or related.

For instance, divorce cases, child custody cases, alimony, or related disputes all fall under family law litigation.

Family law disputes can also arise between members of the same family such as parents and children, siblings, and other related parties.

Recommended article: What is Rule Nisi

16- Other Types of Litigation

So far, I’ve covered some of the most common types of litigation cases that can be possible. 

However, there are so many different types of litigation that it’s not possible to list them all.

Here are some other types of litigation cases that may be identified:

  • Criminal cases
  • Civil cases
  • Equitable claims
  • Class action suits
  • Fair practices
  • Partnership disputes
  • LLC disputes
  • Fraud
  • Public interest disputes
  • Commercial litigation
  • Mesothelioma litigation
  • Insurance litigation
  • Cybersecurity litigation
  • Tax litigation
  • Construction litigation 
  • Aviation disputes 
  • Real estate litigation


So there you have it folks!

What are the different types of litigation cases?

In a nutshell, there are many ways that we can classify litigation cases in different types.

In this article, I have presented the main types of litigation possible, namely:

  • Product liability 
  • Civil rights
  • Tort 
  • Intellectual property
  • Environmental
  • Securities laws
  • Consumer laws
  • Antitrust 
  • Privacy and data protection
  • Employment 
  • Contractual
  • Debt collection
  • Personal injury
  • Property law
  • Family law

Now that you know what are the most common types of litigation, good luck with your research.

Strict liability laws
Probate litigation
Pending litigation 
In personam jurisdiction
Forum non conveniens
Cause of action
Affirmative defense 
Default judgment
Summary judgment 
Lawsuit settlement 
Structured settlements

Editorial Staffhttps://lawyer.zone
Hello Nation! I'm a lawyer and passionate about law. I've practiced law in a boutique law firm, worked in a multi-national organization and as in-house counsel. I've been around the block! On this blog, I provide you with golden nuggets of information about lawyers, attorneys, the law and legal theories. Enjoy!


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