Civil litigation is a non-criminal process to handling legal disputes; it is the application of a civil lawsuit against another person or entity, i.e., a corporation or business.
Civil litigation seeks to resolve disputes between two or more parties who are in conflict and seek compensation for damages or for a specific performance to occur. Where parties cannot resolve the issue, a lawsuit is opened to bring the disputed issue before an impartial third party, usually a judge.
There is a time limit set by law; these time limits are called statutes. Statutes will vary for each state, but it dictates the time period and deadline a party can bring a lawsuit in regards to a specific issue. Otherwise, the party seeking to file a lawsuit will lose the right to file the legal claim if it is outside the dictated deadline. California’s statutes of limitations are especially important. An attorney would have the best and most accurate information about statutes for your particular issue. Our office handles the following areas that civil litigation can help resolve:
- Breach of Contract
- Education law
- Marvin’s Action
- Real and Personal Property
The life of a civil law case
A civil law case has three primary phases: pre-trial, trial, and appeals. A case often begins with one party sending the other a demand letter, in which they make certain requests or demand compensation. If the parties cannot agree to resolve the matter, then a civil lawsuit is often filed in a local courthouse. Once the lawsuit is filed by the plaintiff, the defendant has the opportunity to respond. The parties then enter the pre-trial phase, where information and evidence are exchanged and motions are filed to establish the scope of the case. A motion is a document where an attorney makes a legal argument and asks the judge to rule on the issue. Once this process is complete, the parties then move to the next phase: trial.
At trial, each side has the opportunity to present evidence — including witness testimony — cross-examine witnesses, and give opening and closing statements. A judge or jury then issues a verdict on the matter, which might include ordering one side to pay the other or requiring one party to do or refrain from doing something. Once a verdict has been entered, a party can appeal the matter to a higher court if he or she believes that an error was made by the judge or jury. This is the final phase of the process.
Civil litigation can be a lengthy, expensive, and complicated process. Each party has to follow specific rules and must apply the law to the facts of the case to make a strong argument for why they should prevail. At the Law Offices of Thomas R. Chapin, we are highly experienced in all phases of civil litigation. We utilize our substantial legal knowledge to help our clients reach favorable resolutions to their civil litigation matters throughout Southern California. With fair pricing and a commitment to integrity, our firm is an ideal choice for anyone facing a civil law matter in Corona or the surrounding areas.