There are two general categories of law, civil and criminal law. Civil law is the category of law that deals with wrongs against an individual or their property. On the flip side of the coin is criminal law that deals with cases against the society. 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. Allegation of negligence could also lead to civil litigation, e.g., on property that causes damage due to neglect by owner. 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 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.
The proceeding of civil law litigation in the US begins when a complaint is filed for wrongdoing. The person filing the lawsuit is known as the plaintiff while the other party is known as the defendant. More often than not, the complainant will have consulted a civil law attorney to ascertain the validity of the case before filing.
It needs no mentioning the burden of proof often lies on the plaintiff to prove beyond reasonable doubt that their claims 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. The other important fact you must understand is the plaintiff attorney will often take the stage first to present their evidence before the defendant’s attorney does the same.
Unless either party requests for a jury trial, results of most civil law cases will be determined and issued by a judge. The jury trial will often be made up of between six and twelve judges that will sit in private and determine the verdict. In most cases, the jury’s verdict will be unanimous. Now that you understand civil law, it is important to mention the need to find a reputable law firm to represent your needs. Having a competent and experienced attorney is especially important in cases where compensation is at stake.