If you plan to file a lawsuit under federal law alleging discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, genetic information. or retaliation, you first have to file a charge with the EEOC (except for lawsuits under the Equal Pay Act, see below).
Many people are worried that if they’ve been charged with a crime that there will automatically be prison time. However, prison time tends to be less common of a potential outcome in the majority of criminal cases, especially if the crime is non-violent and you have no or very little previous criminal history. Many cases can be resolved with community service or treatment programs and often sentences are probationary in nature rather than requiring active time. This of course depends predominantly on the charges against you and your criminal history.
Though the majority of lawsuits are settled before ever reaching a state of trial, they can still be very complicated to litigate. This is particularly true in federal systems, where a federal court may be applying state law (e.g. the Erie doctrine, for example in the United States), or vice versa. It is also possible for one state to apply the law of another in cases where additionally it may not be clear which level (or location) of court actually has jurisdiction over the claim or personal jurisdiction over the defendant, or whether the plaintiff has standing to participate in a lawsuit. About 98 percent of civil cases in the United States federal courts are resolved without a trial. Domestic courts are also often called upon to apply foreign law, or to act upon foreign defendants, over whom they may not even have the ability to even enforce a judgment if the defendant's assets are theoretically outside their reach.