Civil Litigation Attorneys
Lawyers at the Pearl Law Firm have extensive experience, in some cases as much as 40 years each, handling civil litigation and personal injury cases. Civil trial law, also known as civil litigation, is the practice of law dealing with litigation of civil controversies in all areas of law before state courts, federal courts, administrative agencies and arbitrators. In contrast to criminal law, where the government prosecutes an individual for violating a statute, civil disputes are brought by and against citizens or corporations to enforce legal rights. Some examples of civil litigation include business disputes, personal injury claims, and breach of contract.
Civil litigation typically begins with the filing of a Complaint by the Plaintiff against one or more Defendants. The Plaintiff and Defendants are collectively referred to as the Parties to the lawsuit. The Complaint outlines the allegations, legal theories, and requested relief or damages. Before a Judge or Jury makes a decision on the merits of the claim, a number of legal proceedings usually occur, including a process for obtaining information called Discovery.
During the discovery phase of a civil lawsuit, the parties have several mechanisms available to gather evidence to support their claim or defense. Depositions allow the attorney for a party to question witnesses or other parties under oath. A stenographer transcribes the question and answer session, and with some limitations the testimony can be introduced at trial. Interrogatories are written questions submitted by one party to another. They are answered under oath and may also be introduced at the trial. Requests for Admissions ask a party to admit or deny an assertion made by another party, and Requests for Production require a party to disclose documents which are in their possession, custody, or control. The guiding principle of discovery is that the information sought must be relevant, that is tending to prove or disprove a material fact, or reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.
The trial phase of a civil lawsuit involves a judge making legal decisions, such as what evidence a party is allowed to admit, and a jury making factual decisions, like what witnesses to believe, based on the evidence they are presented and the law they are instructed to follow. Some cases, either by agreement of the parties or as required by law, are decided by a judge only and are referred to as bench trials. However, the overwhelming majority of all civil lawsuits are resolved in some manner other than a trial, most commonly by settlement.
Our lawyers have handled scores of civil trials ranging from automobile accident cases, wrongful death cases, product liability cases in which the manufacturer of industrial products have been sued based upon claims of defective design, and premises liability cases involving injuries sustained on private or commercial property.
Irrespective of the nature of the civil dispute, the attorneys at the Pearl Law Firm will be pleased to review the merits of the case on your behalf and advise whether you have viable claims or defenses which we would be able to advance on your behalf.