Civil litigation cases are time-sensitive and their deadlines are strictly enforced. The process for resolving a civil lawsuit can be long and costly. A successful resolution of a civil litigation requires the efforts of an attorney knowledgeable in the procedures of various jurisdictions and in the differences in laws affecting your particular situation. John P. McDonald and Michael J. Rogers of McDonald & Rogers, LLC each have more than 30 years of solid criminal and civil litigation experience.
What Is Civil Litigation?
Civil litigation is a method of using our court system to resolve a dispute between two parties and is governed by rules of civil procedure. While most jurisdictions in our country have adapted their rules to be in agreement with the federal rules of civil procedure, these lawsuits can still be affected by differences in case law, statutory law and Constitutional rights.
Some examples of civil litigation include suits pertaining to:
- Business disputes
- Debt settlements
- Defamation claims
- Discrimination claims
- Patent litigation
- Personal injury
- Trade secrets
The Difference Between Civil and Criminal Litigation
The difference between criminal litigation and civil litigation is that in a criminal case a representative of the government, usually a district attorney, prosecutor or grand jury, files charges against an individual or group suspected of criminal activity. In a civil litigation, the wronged party or plaintiff files a complaint against the alleged wrongdoer or defendant. A civil lawsuit can include criminal activity; however, the civil litigation and criminal litigation must be kept separate.
The Stages of Civil Litigation
There are generally three stages to the civil litigation process:
- Discovery – a time at which depositions are taken and relevant documents are exchanged;
- Pre-trial conference – a time during which any outstanding issues are resolved and settlements are negotiated if possible, or the time during which a trial date is scheduled;
- Trial – a time during which the court hears evidence from both sides of the dispute before handing down a judgment.
If you are involved in a dispute that cannot be resolved, contact the Somerville, Somerset County, New Jersey law offices of McDonald & Rogers, LLC by e-mail, or call 908-722-4100 today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced civil litigation lawyers.