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A lawsuit is a piece of professional litigation where one person demands compensation or recompense from another, usually to cover a loss of earnings or image as a result of some unlawful action. In legal jargon, the one seeking the compensation is known as a plaintiff while the one being sued is called the defendant, and must answer the plaintiff's claims and pay damages if the litigation is successful. While designed as a form of civil dispute resolution, lawsuits are often overused and abused because of the sheer amounts of money it is possible to make from them if successful - and often the staggering legal costs for defendants can ensure an "out-of-court" settlement.