What is a civil lawsuit? A lawsuit is essentially a court proceeding by two parties to resolve an issue in either civil or criminal court. The archaic phrase “Suit in civil court” is present in very few laws today. Most commonly, lawsuits are processed in a civil court.
Civil lawsuit can be either a trial or a settlement. A trial is the most common type of case. In such case, two parties agree to resolve the issue either through a court trial or through a settlement mediated by the attorneys. A settlement mediated by the attorneys results in an agreement of all parties in regard to the award to which they are entitled. When there is no satisfactory resolution between the parties, a trial may be held.
Before a lawsuit is filed, there are two types of processes that are required. The first is discovery. In the discovery process, attorneys have the right to request any documents, depositions and other information that has not been disclosed to them. Discovery is the first step in any litigation and it is important that attorneys know what the discovery means before they file the lawsuit. Discovery is not the same as information.
Discovery is designed to provide sufficient information to assist the attorneys in their preparation of the complaint and in their defense of the complaint. Discovery is intended to provide the facts, both tangible and intangible, as relevant to the issues in the claims. Once discovery is complete, the plaintiff and the defendant can meet at a court appointed attorney’s office to file their claims. Discovery is a part of the judicial process and is not considered an event that happens instantaneously.
In addition to discovery, a party can also file a complaint in civil litigation. A complaint consists of a statement of claim, a complaint, a counter-claim or a motion to lift, modify or dismiss. Many times both parties will file a complaint in a civil lawsuit, but only one party is involved. When a lawsuit is commenced, both parties are required to file a complaint, and there are certain rules of procedure that must be followed. If the complaint is still unresolved after 45 days, the plaintiff must file an answer which is also filed with the courthouse where the case was filed.
Some states have special laws that address civil lawsuits. In these instances, the laws are specific and cover different circumstances. In Florida, for example, civil suits cannot be filed by a personal injury victim. This law is referred to as the “no win no fee” statute. In some counties, this is referred to as “one-shot settlement.”
Often times, criminal justice and civil court cases share some common procedures. Many lawyers, however, specialize in criminal cases only. In many instances, criminal cases end with a jury trial, although plea bargains may also be offered to defendants. There are other specialties within the criminal justice field. One such specialty is criminal defense, which is exactly what it sounds like: the defense of a person who has been charged with a crime. Sometimes, defendants negotiate plea bargains in hopes of avoiding a trial in which they could be found guilty.
While there are many differences between criminal litigation and civil litigation, there are some similarities as well. Both types of cases seek to resolve the question or arguments which may have arisen at the root cause of the case. Both types of cases also require the services of qualified and experienced civil lawyers. A knowledgeable, experienced criminal defense attorney is essential not only in winning a case, but in protecting a client’s rights. When you’re faced with a civil case, contact a civil lawyer to discuss your case today.