Institute:Office of National Coordinator (ONC) Workforce Training Curriculum
Component:Introduction to Health Care and Public Health in the U.S.
Unit:Regulating Health Care
Lecture:Branches of Government and the Configuration of the U.S. Judicial System
Slide content:Litigation: Parties Adversary system Each party presents his or her case Facts determined by neutral fact-finder Civil case: plaintiff and defendant Criminal case: government and defendant 18
Slide notes:Litigation is the process by which disputes are resolved in U.S. courts. The procedure for presenting a case is called the adversary system. Each side, or party, to a dispute must present its own evidence. If there is a discrepancy between the facts that each side presents, the judge or jury decides who is telling the truth. In a civil case, the person who claims, or alleges , that he or she has been harmed is called the plaintiff. The person who allegedly committed the wrongful act is called the defendant. Usually, each side has a lawyer. For example, a patient may file a lawsuit alleging that some harm has arisen as a result of wrongful medical treatment. He becomes the plaintiff and the attorney who represents him is known as the plaintiff s attorney. In this situation, the lawyer who represents the medical professional is called the defense attorney. In a criminal case, the state brings charges against the defendant, who is alleged to have broken some law. The individual who has been harmed is not a party to this proceeding. The title of the attorney who represents the government varies. In the federal system, this is a U.S. attorney. In most state systems, it is a prosecuting attorney or state s attorney. 18