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Whether you're following the latest celebrity trial or dealing with a lawsuit or criminal charge yourself, you may be wondering why legal cases take so long to resolve. And sadly, there's no way to fast-forward to the end to find out the answer.

While there are some time limits on when charges or claims can be brought (see statutes of limitation) and how long a case can take (the right to a speedy trial), there are also opposing forces that can delay cases.

Every case is different, but there are some general factors that determine how long a legal case will take.

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing six cases in the last week of February. The cases touch on issues including alleged religious discrimination by a clothing store, performance bonuses from courts to attorneys, and whether a firearms offender can sell his confiscated guns.

If you like to keep an eye on the highest court in the land, this is what you have to look forward to:

In addition to or in lieu of money damages, civil courts may also order an equitable remedy such as an injunction.

An injunction is a court order compelling a party to do or not do a specific act or acts. Injunctions are typically used to prevent future harmful action, rather than to compensate to an injury that has already occurred. Injunctions can be temporary -- such as a preliminary injunction issued before a trial to prevent a defendant from harming the plaintiff's ability to enforce his or her rights-- or permanent.

What are some of the most common types of injunctions, and when are they issued?

Serving the other side with notice of a lawsuit is typically done in person or through the mail. In some cases, however, a person may be served by publication in a newspaper.

Following the filing of a complaint -- the document which describes the lawsuit and identifies the parties involved -- the party filing the lawsuit must complete what is known as "service of process." There are typically very specific rules for how service must be completed, depending on the type of case and the jurisdiction in which it is being filed.

Generally speaking, however, when can you serve process via publication?

Legalese From A to Z - FindLaw

Lawyers love to use a whole world of weird and wondrously whimsical words to describe certain facets of the law.

And as you might have guessed, a good deal of them may begin with the letter "W." Don't be caught without your wits. Learn more about these five legal terms beginning with "W":

  • Wanton. No, this isn't another way to spell the Asian dumpling. In fact, the word describes very unsavory action or indifference on the part of a person, typically resulting in serious harm or death. Often a person's actions are described as wanton when an attorney wishes to meet the legal standard for recklessness. In a criminal case, a prosecutor might use "wanton" to describe a murder defendant's acts which have a malicious or craven intent.

What Is a Demurrer?

Demurrer is a legal way of rejecting a claim without addressing the factual allegations contained within it. To demur to a civil lawsuit, a defendant essentially argues that even if the allegations are true, there is no legitimate legal claim.

This legal device is being used by comedian Bill Cosby in response to a woman suing him for allegedly molesting her as a child 40 years ago. Cosby's attorney filed a demurrer to the woman's lawsuit, claiming that regardless if the allegations are true, there is no legitimate legal claim.

How does a demurrer work to strike down a lawsuit without addressing the facts in the case?

Virginia is for lovers. But it's also for students, parents, thrillseekers, risk-takers, and entrepreneurs. No matter which one of those hats you decide to wear in the Commonwealth of Virginia, you'll need to know the laws of the realm.

While in the Old Dominion, be sure to know these 10 laws:

North Carolina has been host to colonists, pirates, rebels, and tobacco farmers, so you may guess that the state also has a rich legal history.

You may only be visiting North Carolina for some good BBQ or planning to put down roots in Raleigh-Durham, but either way, you need to know the laws of the land.

While in the Tar Heel State, be sure to know these 10 laws:

A father has settled a lawsuit with his daughter's Connecticut school district after she was barred from attending class over fears she may have contracted Ebola.

Stephen Opayemi and his 7-year-old daughter had attended a wedding in Nigeria and returned to find that her school, Meadowside Elementary in MIlford, wouldn't let her rejoin her class for another 21 days. Opayemi filed suit in federal court in Connecticut, hoping a judge would order the school to let his daughter return. On Thursday, the parties settled, allowing the young girl to return to school on Friday, reports the Connecticut Post.

What was the legal thrust of Opayemi's suit over this school Ebola policy, and what happens now that he's settled?

The U.S. Supreme Court has been as busy as nine incredibly well educated beavers this year, and November should prove to be an interesting month for the High Court.

There are issues of gun control, homeland security, and even home loans to contend with. So here are 10 Supreme Court cases you should really pay attention to in November: