Civil Litigation Definition: What is the Civil Litigation Process?

When thinking about the civil litigation definition, one must contrast a criminal defendant on trial as opposed to a civil defendant that is being for money damages or some other non-criminal sanction.

Civil litigation includes a variety of practice areas that include, probate, personal injury law, family law, contract law and many others.

What is the Civil Litigation Process?

By definition, the civil litigation process must start with filing a lawsuit in a court that has subject matter jurisdiction to hear your specific type of case. An example would include probate court or family law courts. Once the case is filed, the civil litigation process requires the other party to be served and given time and the opportunity to respond to the allegations (referred to as the answer to the complaint).

The basics of the civil litigation process include:

  • Initial pleadings stage
  • Answers and counterclaims
  • Discovery
  • Pretrial pleadings and motions
  • Trial
  • Appeals

Civil Definition (Federal Cases)

The civil litigation definition when it comes to trials in federal court can take a somewhat different course. 

To start a federal civil litigation process, the person bringing the lawsuit (plaintiff) files the action with the court for the first time. The plaintiff must also serve the action to the defendant. Generally speaking, there are rules that dictate the legal requirements for filing a civil litigation lawsuit.

The plaintiff must meet the sufficiency requirements that let the court know what occurred, explain the wrong committed by the defendant, and what relief or civil litigation damages you seek from the court.

Civil Litigation Lawyer Preparation for Trial

After the preliminary paperwork is filed, the civil litigation process requires attorneys to move towards their preparation for trial. If you are contemplating filing a civil case on your own, then you must also understand the applicable procedural rules.

Note: In most states, including Colorado, civil litigation parties that are business entities must be represented by a civil litigation lawyer.

In most jurisdictions, civil litigation court rules allow the parties to settle any disputes through mediation or arbitration. In some cases, civil judges may order the parties to mediate the dispute. Only when the dispute cannot be resolved would a civil trial come into play.

Civil Trials And Discovery

The civil litigation process includes discovery. This where the parties without requesting from the other must provide to each other, the names of witnesses, documents and evidence intended to use at trial. This allows for meaningful evaluation of the strength of the other person’s case.

If the other person’s case is strong, then  you may want to think about settlement because of the risk of going to trial.

Civil Definition & Litigation Attorneys

Civil litigation lawyers often represent either plaintiff or defendant at trial. One important as aspect under the civil definition at trial is to understand that courts often have jurisdictional amounts.

For example, each time a Colorado small claims court may hear a case where the dispute is less than $7500.00. Typically, civil litigation lawyers are prohibited to entering the case unless permitted to by the court.

Civil Litigation Defense and Trial

Civil litigation lawyers have a challenging job. When at trial, defense attorneys take an adverse position, use the rule evidence and civil procedure to convince a judge or jury that your position is best suited by the law and that you should win the case.

  • Civil litigation law firms exhaust long hours of intense research and trial development.

Civil litigation includes a discovery process after the lawsuit is filed and the opposing party is served and files an answer. During discovery, each side provides the other with documents, witnesses and evidence that each intends to in litigation at trial. Discovery includes taking depositions, requesting additional documents or answering additional questions. The civil litigation process can be very demanding in high-risk and high-profile cases.

Civil litigation lawyers are often trial attorneys that handle a variety of practice areas. It is often advisable to seek a litigation lawyer or defense attorney that has specific experience with your type of case.

The reason behind this rule stems from the fact that attorney fees can often exceed the amount that the parties are fighting over. As one can see, the civil litigation definition covers a variety of substantive legal areas.

If you are involved in a complex civil dispute, you may want to discuss your specific case with an experienced civil litigation lawyer that has specific experience with your type of case. Call for a free initial consultation at 1-866-601-5518.

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