Civil litigation, or civil action, is a legal dispute between two or more parties: It’s a lawsuit. It is always more cost-effective to hire an attorney to help review or draw up a contract before it’s signed, as opposed to hiring an attorney after the contract has been signed and things have gone wrong.
A lawsuit can be a long-term project, lasting from several months to several years, and complex civil litigation can be expensive. The plaintiffs in a dispute are likely seeking money to compensate them for damages, or a right that they believe has been taken away from them. Civil litigation is not criminal litigation, but encompasses a broad range of subject matter, including personal injuries, landlord/tenant disputes, real estate purchase and sale disputes, construction defect disputes, contract disputes, and land use issues. Civil litigation usually involves private disputes between individuals and/or for-profit businesses (like corporations or LLCs), but can include disputes concerning non-profit organizations, or even public law issues (municipalities or other government agencies).
Your attorney (often referred to as a civil litigator or trial lawyer) in a civil matter will represent you in arbitration and mediation, if possible, in an effort to resolve the matter without the expense of going to trial. If necessary, your attorney will represent you during the discovery (information from the opposing party that is relevant to the case) and investigative processes through trial.
Civil matters are heard before administrative agencies and local, state, and federal courts. It is often possible, however, to resolve a civil matter with a few simple phone calls and negotiation. Under certain circumstances you can seek reimbursement for your attorney fees. You want an attorney who has a substantial knowledge of procedural law and the ability to effectively communicate complex legal doctrines.
Whether you need assistance with a business matter or contract, you find yourself in a lawsuit (plaintiff or defendant), or you are thinking about starting a lawsuit, you want to have qualified legal counsel on your side. Richard – with his real-life business experience, excellent negotiation skills, and legal background – is a proven, effective civil attorney.