Case Study: My Experience With Lawyers

Civil Law 101 and the Need to Work with Competent Civil Law Attorneys

The law is categorized into two, criminal law and civil law. Civil law falls under the category of law that pertains to wrongs against a person or against their property. Criminal law is the category of law that deals with cases that pertain to wrongdoings against the society at large. You should, thus, expect civil cases to feature things to do with family disputes, small claim lawsuits, personal injury cases and negligence.

Most personal injury cases, such as those that result from a car accident, often result in civil litigation. Other litigation may be as a result of an allegation of negligence, e.g., when someone has a responsibility of maintaining their property to ensure other people are not hurt when they access the said property. Adoption cases, child custody cases and divorce cases all fall under the family law; thus civil litigation.

Also worth mentioning is the fact most often there are special courts for specific categories of civil law cases. A good example is a family law court often set aside to handle matters that touch on family issues. Small claim cases are generally cases that involve small amounts of money and will often be heard in small claim courts.

The proceeding of civil law litigation in the US begins when a complaint is filed for wrongdoing. Whoever files the lawsuit is referred to as the plaintiff and whoever is being sued is referred to as the defendant. Most plaintiffs work hand in hand with civil law attorneys to help ascertain the validity of case and help issue notice of complaint to the defendant.

It needs no mentioning the burden of proof often lies on the plaintiff to prove beyond reasonable doubt that their claims are valid. It is no wonder civil litigation lawyers are expected to be very competent to ensure the evidence shows what is known as preponderance of the evidence. Also worth noting is the fact the plaintiff’s attorney will always present their case first before the defendant’s attorney offers their side of the story as they try to counter the claims presented forth by the plaintiff.

The results of the civil suit would normally be determined by a judge, unless either of the parties, through their lawyer, request for a jury trial. In the event of a jury trial, the panel would be made up of between six and twelve attorneys who deliberate on the case privately to reach a decision. Unless on very rare occasions, the jury’s verdict is often unanimous. Having said that, it is highly recommended you identify a reputable civil law firm to handle your case. The litigation can go either way depending on the competence of your attorney.

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