Understanding the Critical Role Played by a Civil Law Attorney
There are two broad types of law – civil and criminal law. Civil law falls under the category of law that pertains to wrongs against a person or against their property. Criminal law, on the other hand, deals with wrongs made against the society as a whole. You should, thus, expect civil cases to feature things to do with family disputes, small claim lawsuits, personal injury cases and negligence.
Personal injury cases, e.g., automotive accident fall under the scope of civil law. 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.
The other thing worth mentioning is there could be specific courts meant for specific types of civil law cases. A perfect example being family law courts set up to handle cases to do with family matters. Small claim cases are generally cases that involve small amounts of money and will often be heard in small claim courts.
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. The plaintiff will most often than not consult with a civil law attorney just to be sure his case is valid, upon which they will proceed to issue a notice of complaint to the defendant.
In the civil law court, the burden of proof lies on the plaintiff to prove his case against the defendant. This explains the reason why it is highly recommended one works with an experienced civil law attorney to ensure the proof shows a preponderance of the evidence. it is also worth noting plaintiffs are often given precedence in the presentation of evidence before the defendants are given a chance to do the same.
Another fact to keep in mind is the results of the civil suit will be determined and issued by a judge unless there is a special request for a jury trial. The jury trial will often be made up of between six and twelve judges that will sit in private and determine the verdict. Unless on very rare occasions, the jury’s verdict is often unanimous. The need, therefore, to work with experienced and competent civil law attorneys can never be overemphasized enough. The litigation can go either way depending on the competence of your attorney.