There are two general categories of law, civil and criminal law. When you have a case against a person or their property that case falls under civil law. Criminal law is the category of law that deals with cases that pertain to wrongdoings against the society at large. Civil lawsuits generally deal with cases that are not criminal in nature such as negligence, personal injury, family dispute and small claim litigation.
Personal injury cases, e.g., automotive accident fall under the scope of civil law. Civil litigation could also be as a result of negligence, say when one neglects to protect users of their property against injuries. Adoption cases, child custody cases and divorce cases all fall under the family law; thus civil litigation.
It isn’t uncommon to find different courts tasked with handling different 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.
In the US, a civil lawsuit proceeding will commence when a case is filed 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. It is thus the responsibility of the plaintiff to find a competent lawyer that will help ensure they prove beyond any doubt they deserve to be heard. 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.
Unless either party requests for a jury trial, results of most civil law cases will be determined and issued by a judge. In the event of a jury trial, the panel would be made up of between six and twelve attorneys who deliberate on the case privately to reach a decision. In most cases, the jury’s verdict will be unanimous. Having said that, it is highly recommended you identify a reputable civil law firm to handle your case. Competence of an attorney is key when it comes to success in civil law cases.