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Complex civil litigation is a matter that has many plaintiffs and/or defendants or is a case wherein the discovery is extensive. It is often set aside from civil litigation in that the court deals with these cases in a separate division (a separate judicial assignment). Often mergers and acquisitions and other contract issues are litigated as complex civil litigation because of the amount of time the case takes—whether because of the number of participants or the amount of documentation that is discoverable. Not only do the attorneys involved in civil litigation need to understand all the legalities in complex civil litigation matters, but the judge must also have an understanding of complex civil litigation matters.
If a civil litigation case has numerous plaintiffs and/or defendants, the amount of discovery going between them is extensive. Even cases with one or just a few participants might have extensive documentation, depending on the type of case.