How Long Does a Civil Lawsuit Take?

Time with Hour Glass

A lawsuit could take as short as a day to as long as multiple years to conclude.

August 14, 2018
Bremer Whyte Brown & O’Meara

How long does a civil lawsuit take?

One common question among parties to a civil lawsuit, whether a plaintiff or defendant, is how long will it take to reach a resolution? The answer is tricky. The time it takes to resolve a civil lawsuit is highly dependent on various factors including the complexity of the matter and the parties’ willingness to settle.

At the outset, parties to a civil case may resolve the matter at any time by mutual agreement (i.e., settlement). In that case, the parties draft a Stipulation and Order outlining the terms of the agreed settlement and submit the document to the judge for approval. Absent of any glaring inequity in the terms of the Stipulation, the judge will typically approve of the parties’ settlement, and the matter will be deemed resolved (either in whole or in part, depending on the case, the terms of the settlement and indemnity agreement).


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