Are you considering taking someone to civil court? You should know that a courtroom is not as it’s depicted on television. While methods are similar, much of the proceedings are dramatized. It’s essential to think long and hard before taking this drastic step.
Understanding Civil Litigation
A civil case is where two parties have a dispute. Most of the time, these cases are with business transactions, but that’s not always true. Some of the most common types of civil litigation are:
•Small Claims Where Money is Owed
•Breach of Contract
You Can’t Force Payment
You can go to court and get a judgment against someone, but that doesn’t mean that you can get payment from them. If they don’t have the money to pay you, you can’t get cash from a turnip. It’s important to have realistic expectations. Can you collect this debt, or are you going to get an unenforceable judgment?
Your Slam Dunk Might Not Be as It Appears
TV law shows make it look so easy. You go in with the burden of proof, win the case, and walk away a happy camper. However, while things might seem like you’re about to hit a home run, you may strike out when your case goes before the judge. Without proper legal knowledge, a clause or exception can throw out your claim.
The Goal is to Settle Out of Court
You may be eager to get into the courtroom and ensure you get justice. However, most cases are settled out of court. Settling a claim is not only good for you but also the legal system. If every single issue that is filed goes to trial, then they would be backlogged for years. The goal is to reach a settlement, file it with the court, and move on.
The Complexity May Be Over Your Head
Some civil cases, like small claims money requests, can easily be handled by you. However, more complex cases need a civil litigation lawyer.
These professionals know the motions that need to be filed as well as the process. Their knowledge is valuable to you if you want to win. The last thing you want is to miss filing something the court needs or look unprepared at the hearing.
Dealing with the law is never an easy thing, especially when it requires court intervention. Weigh the circumstances of your case, the severity of the issues, and decide if it’s wise to proceed without counsel.
Author information: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.