What is civil litigation?
Civil litigation is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of different types of cases, including:
- Divorce cases
- Real estate lawsuits
- Personal injury claims
- Anti-trust litigation
- Product liability cases
- Medical malpractice suits
- Landlord/tenant disputes
Basically, civil litigation covers all law that isn’t criminal law. Cases are filed by the victims rather than a prosecutor and are handled in civil court as a lawsuit with the goal of getting some sort of financial compensation or to force the defendant to adhere to your wishes.
There’s a different burden of proof with a civil case. In a criminal prosecution, the burden of proof is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In civil matters, a plaintiff – the person filing the suit – must prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence.
What does a civil litigator do?
Just as a criminal lawyer fights to prove their client’s innocence – or works to protect the rights of the people – a Bucks County civil litigation attorney works to achieve the best possible outcome for their client. This means collecting evidence, examining witnesses and working to negotiate settlements.
What is the civil litigation process like?
Not every civil matter needs to go to court. In many cases, a civil dispute can be worked out through negotiation and mediation.
But when the parties can’t reconcile their differences, a civil lawsuit may be necessary. In cases where there’s less than $12,000 at stake, these suits can go before a district judge. Otherwise, it will be handled in the Court of Common Pleas.
Civil cases can be litigated before an arbitration panel or a judge, but many cases are resolved before they even go to trial.
Do I even need a civil litigation attorney?
We really don’t want to trot out the old saying about how the person who acts as their own lawyer has a fool for a client.
But that adage has hung around for a good reason. If you’re filing a lawsuit, there are several reasons you should have a Bucks County civil litigation attorney:
- Even the most experienced lawyer doesn’t represent themselves in court, so why should you? A good lawyer has a better handle on the law than you will.
- You’ll technically save money by not hiring a lawyer. But you might lose money in the long run, especially if you’re defending against a lawsuit.
- A civil litigation attorney knows how to present and challenge evidence. They’ll be able to spot when a witness contradicts themselves and can tell whether the evidence against you is being handled properly.
- Filing the wrong documents could hamstring your case. Your lawyer will know the proper procedure for filing to make sure that your solid case isn’t derailed by a small mistake.
- A lawyer likely has more experience negotiating settlements than you do.
- The likelihood of both you and the person on the opposing side deciding to represent yourselves is extremely slim. It’s far more likely that they’ll have an experienced civil litigator fighting on their behalf. You should do the same.
If you need an experienced civil litigator to fight for your rights in court, turn to Penglase and Benson. Our Bucks County civil litigation attorneys can defend your case and give you expert advice that helps keep you out of the courtroom. Contact us today for a free consultation.