The law is categorized into two, criminal law and civil law. When you have a case against a person or their property that case falls under civil law. On the flip side of the coin is criminal law that deals with cases against the society. Civil lawsuits generally deal with cases that are not criminal in nature such as negligence, personal injury, family dispute and small claim litigation.
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. As mentioned, family law cases such as adoptions, divorces, child custody issues, all fall under this scope of civil law.
Contract dispute cases, cases to do with employment law and discrimination cases also fall under this scope. A good example is a family law court often set aside to handle matters that touch on family issues. Another example is a small claims court set aside to handle matters to deal with small claim disputes.
In the United States, a civil law case proceeding starts when one files a complaint against another person for wrongdoing. The person filing the lawsuit is known as the plaintiff while the other party is known 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 is expected the plaintiff to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that their complaints 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. Typically, the jury trial will have anywhere between six and twelve jurors deliberately privately to reach a verdict. Most often, the decision of the members of the jury would be unanimous. The need, therefore, to work with experienced and competent civil law attorneys can never be overemphasized enough. Competence of an attorney is key when it comes to success in civil law cases.