Understanding The Intricacies Involved in New York Civil Litigation

By James

Civil law is a legal term used to describe a body of law that is primarily focused around resolving disputes by delivering peaceful resolutions to typically non-criminal issues. The term, civil law may also be used to denote the legal system practiced in the majority of developed nations in the world. Basically, civil law is a body of law that resolves disputes through multiple forms. Primarily it aims to solve issues through the discovery portion of a trial or through alternative resolution such as mediation or arbitration. Therefore a wide array of areas are covered by civil including issues relating to child custody suits, divorce cases, and personal injury claims. Civil law also attempts to resolve matters concerning business disputes.  Civil law is used to evaluate lawsuits seeking reimbursement for damages to property or an individual.

A civil law court is the venue where people or entities attempt to resolve legal disputes. The majority of civil law courts provide a legal remedies to the underlying disputes and make judgments regarding monetary compensation or enforcing a party to abstain from certain activities or delivering certain products or services. A civil law court delivers such judgments based on prior rulings, established statutes, or both depending on the particular circumstances of that case. Civil legal systems are mostly derived from ancient Roman law and Justinian’s Code. Civil legal systems in all countries rely on laws or codes that have been formally codified by written documentation. They do not rely on customs or case decisions being developed into legal precedents. Civil law courts generally apply the principles outlined in established statutes when making a decision.

Civil law systems are very much different from the common law systems that follow Anglo-Saxon principles. Common law systems are generally used in the United States to resolve disputes and in a common law system the judiciary relies heavily on case law and statutory law to find a resolution.  Any decisions made by judges are used as a precedent in deciding similar cases in the future. The first recorded instance of civil litigation can be found in the latter years of medieval England. At the time, it was necessary to distinguish between crimes against the government which were considered to be very serious and a variety of crimes against individuals that were deemed as civil matters. This was known as Tort law and the word “Tort” comes from a Latin word, torquere, which means to twist.

A civil law attorney reviews the facts of your case to determine if you have a viable claim or not. If you do, then they register the complaint with the court and represent you in court as legal counsel. However, issues such as monetary damages often get settled prior to being litigated.  A civil law attorney has knowledge about the facts of your case and thus is familiar to the relevant statutes and laws that apply, hence you can confer and talk over the legal aspects of your case. Retaining an attorney who can effectively handle negotiations as well as litigation can make the whole process a lot less stressful. Legal counsel should be adept at resolving a claim out of court and litigating it.  Many civil law attorneys work on a contingency basis which means that unless you are victorious or you settle your case, you don’t have to pay any attorney’s fee which is usually in the range of 33% of the total award.

Once a real estate attorney has been retained, attorney client privilege kicks into effect. Attorney-client privilege states that your attorney cannot share what you and he have talked about in private with anyone else. At trial, the attorney cannot testify about any information that they became aware of due to attorney-client privilege. This privilege remains in effect after the attorney has stopped representing you. Some people believe that civil litigation attorneys are crooks or ambulance chasers that are only concerned with their own benefit, however this characterization may be true for a miniscule portion of attorneys but certainly not all of them. The majority of attorneys receive personal satisfaction when helping someone who is unaware of their legal rights. An attorney is required to represent you with zeal and competence, therefore an attorney who violates this principle may find himself on the receiving end of a legal malpractice lawsuit.

Civil Restitution For Criminal Acts In New York

According to statistics over 19 million Americans fall victim to crime every year. The consequences of a crime often extend far beyond the criminal act itself where victims may have to harbor expenses for medical procedures, physical rehabilitation, counseling, lost wages, and property damage. In the US crime costs society $450 billion annually. The amount of monetary compensation that a criminal offender has to pay to their victim is called restitution. It is part of the offender’s sentence and can be ordered in both adult and juvenile cases. The amount of restitution awarded depends on the expenses the victim has to bear including medical and dental bills, counseling, transportation, lost wages due to injury, and stolen or damaged property. A criminal court cannot order restitution payments for physical pain, suffering, and emotional trauma, however a civil law court can do so.

There are many benefits to filing a civil lawsuit in a criminal matter. Some of the benefits of a civil action may include:

Control of the Case- The victim of a crime has greater control in a civil lawsuit than in a criminal case because they are a party to the civil case and cannot be excluded from the courtroom. They also generally decide final approval of any settlement proposals.

Compensation - Civil lawsuits are a means to providing deserved compensation to the victims for any monetary damages that they have suffered such as medical expenses and lost income. The victims may also be compensated for any emotional damage they might have suffered.

Accountability Of The Offender- A civil lawsuit holds criminal perpetrators directly accountable to their victims regardless of whether there was a criminal conviction or prosecution thereof.

Crime Prevention - In addition to suing criminal offenders, victims of a crime can bring civil lawsuits against other responsible parties. Such actions provide economic incentives for crime prevention. Civil lawsuits brought by victims of crimes have served to improve the security in public places, better supervision of daycare facilities and numerous other improvements in society.

In conclusion it is safe to say that a qualified civil law attorney can be a tremendous asset for people looking to recover monetary damages or to force or prevent a third party from acting in a certain way. If you need to file a civil lawsuit it is appropriate to exercise due diligence in hiring an attorney that suits your needs.

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