From real estate and regulatory compliance to business disputes and breach of contracts, the umbrella of civil litigation is wide and diverse. Often grouped under the more informal term of “non-criminal” legal cases, civil litigation is straightforward and complex at the same time.
So, what really is civil litigation?
Simply put, a lawsuit where the dispute to be settled is not based on potentially criminal actions comes under civil litigation. Most often, civil litigation cases are between one side asking for reprimands in terms of money or actions from another side that has to make amends.
Learning the Language of Civil Litigation
Lawsuits are intimidating enough, even without the legal terminology that is thrown around the table casually. If and when you do have to meet with civil litigation attorneys, knowing some of these commonly used civil litigation law terms will definitely come in handy:
Complaint - The initial statement required to initiate a lawsuit.
Litigator - A lawyer/attorney who handles civil litigation cases
Plaintiff - The party that files a civil lawsuit seeking justice in terms of money or other actions
Defendant - The party that faces the lawsuit and has to make amends
Damages - The money or action that is sought by the plaintiff as compensation for the wrongdoing they suffered
Appeal - When either party is dissatisfied by the ruling and would like to take it up to a higher court, they file an “appeal”
Brief - A written note that both sides of civil litigation attorneys have to submit to the court in order to explain their argument.
Tort - A civil litigation law that cases are filed under because an act of wrongdoing was committed or someone’s rights were infringed upon.
The Diversity of Civil Lawsuits
As we have already established, civil litigation lawsuits come in many forms. At Napier and Rollin, our civil litigation lawyers deal with all kinds of civil lawsuits, some of these types are:
1. Personal injury cases - In these cases one side has usually been harmed by another in non-criminal ways such as negligence or wrongful acts and they seek amends from the accused.
2. Breach of contract / Contract litigation - Our civil litigation attorneys have to be reliable guides through the process of making contracts and in case of their breach, confidentiality claims, or disputes on partnership.
3. Business torts and dissolutions - Our civil litigation lawyers are experts in handling sensitive situations where businesses have split or there’s an act of civil legal liability like misrepresentation and fraud.
4. Real Estate Litigation - Real estate is a field where stakes are high and tensions run higher as so much money and effort is invested. The civil litigation laws regarding real estate are complex too as there are so many elements working together - from brokers, sellers, and buyers to loan officers - civil litigation lawyers make sure to handle these cases with utmost clarity.
5. Landlord-Tenant disputes - These disputes prove to be quite distressing, especially in cases of eviction and hence need to be resolved with care. Our civil litigation lawyers are adept at handling these appropriately.
The thought of a lawsuit is intimidating for most people - most jump to imagining months of courtroom visits and a bunch of paperwork. However, not all lawsuits need to be resolved in court. In fact, most civil litigation attorneys do their best to settle the case outside of court or by way of ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution).
At Napier and Rollin all our efforts are first aligned towards resolving an issue outside the court as that way both parties are more likely to have control over the dispute. In the situation that the lawsuit does go to court, our civil litigation attorneys are experts at getting you the best possible judgement.