Civil litigation occurs when two or more parties become involved in a legal disagreement that involves seeking money or action but does not involve criminal charges. These cases will sometimes head to trial, giving a judge the chance to decide the outcome, but they do not involve an actual crime. Here is a closer look at what civil litigation involves.
Basic Types of Civil Litigation
A wide range of kinds of lawful questions fall under category of civil litigation. For instance, if a landowner and occupant have a dispute that goes to court, or if neighbors sue each other in a property fight, these types of lawsuits are considered civil litigation. Other common civil cases include:
- Personal injury cases
- Intellectual property disputes
- Medical malpractice cases
- Employment or labor disputes
- Education law disputes
- Lawsuits surrounding divorce
- Business Disputes
All of these disputes have one thing in common – they do not involve any criminal charges. In most cases, they involve money or property, but that is not always true. Sometimes the parties may simply want action from another party and need the courts to help to enforce the requested action.
Common Steps in a Civil Law Case
While each case is different, all civil suits follow a predictable path. The first step is to determine whether or not you have a viable case, which usually involves consultation with a lawyer. Once it is determined that your case has potential merit, a lawsuit is initiated in the appropriate court. Both sides will file “pleadings” (a short, concise statement of their case).
The “discovery” stage follows the initial round of pleadings. This is where disclosure of each side’s evidence occurs. Parties typically serve written discovery requests on each other seeking the facts supporting their respective positions and all documents supporting the asserted claims and defenses. The discovery phase can take several months, depending on the complexity of the lawsuit, the number of witnesses involved and the extent of documentation the parties are required to exchange. The Court oversees this stage of the litigation and exercises its power to permit or deny the production of information responsive to each side’s discovery requests.
During or at the conclusion of the discovery phase, the parties are typically required to participate in some form of settlement procedures in an attempt to resolve the case before trial. If the case cannot be settled, it proceeds to a trial on the merits. This is where both sides present the evidence supporting the respective claims and defenses to a neutral fact finder – usually either a judge or a jury. The lawsuit culminates in a judgment entered by the court, which the losing party can appeal to a higher tribunal. The entire process can take months and even years to complete.
Lynx Legal Service can assist in the preparation and filing of pleadings and other documentation to be presented to the court during all phases of the litigation. Contact the group at Lynx Legal Service today to discuss your needs and requirements. You can reach us at 888-441-2355 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.