Do you need an attorney to help with a Houston TX civil litigation case? Perhaps you’re wondering what “civil litigation” is. Or maybe you’re wondering what section of civil disputes your specific circumstance falls into.
By textbook definition, litigation is the process of resolving a dispute. This resolution happens by filing or answering a complaint through the public court system. And by even simpler terms, it can just mean the process of a lawsuit.
Most court cases you see on TV are likely criminal cases. Unlike what could happen in criminal cases, civil disputes aren’t as dramatic. However, they tend to happen more often and are just as important.
So what constitutes a civil dispute that needs “civil litigation?” Generally, civil disputes have someone (i.e., the plaintiff) seeking monetary damages from someone else (i.e., the defendant). Unlike with criminal cases, the defendant isn’t going to end up in jail if they’re found in the wrong. The worst is they’ll have to pay up the amount the court states is appropriate.
Even if some civil disputes can settle outside the court, “civil litigation,” by meaning, involves the court. So with a civil litigation case, you would need the help of a civil lawyer. For every possible dispute, there is a lawyer who specializes in it.
Figuring out where your dispute falls under will help you find an appropriate civil litigation lawyer.
Types of Houston TX Civil Litigation
As stated earlier, civil disputes don’t necessarily mean a crime happened. It’s simply a legal disagreement that’s seeking money or action. Situations like a landlord or tenant dispute or neighbors arguing over their property line count as civil disputes.
Some common types of civil disputes are employment or labor disputes, intellectual property disputes, or contract disputes. They can also include personal injury cases, property disputes, and family disputes.
Unfortunately, workplace conflicts happen pretty often. If poorly managed, it can escalate into a dispute and require mediation. These cases can occur if there’s a lack of opportunity, inadequate training, or unfair treatment.
Intellectual property disputes sit on the line between civil and criminal cases. Intellectual property comprises four different categories: copyright, patent, trademark, and trade secrets. A disagreement over any of those can quickly reach a resolution with some mediation.
Of course, contract disputes happen when someone fails to uphold their end of the contract. Seeking legal action for a breach of contract happens with civil litigation. These disputes encompass landlord-tenant disputes as well.
For personal injury cases, an injured person may want to seek compensation for the injury from the other party. Usually, these happen from car accidents, accidental injuries, defective products, or negligence.
Property disputes often happen when the owner is unclear. Sometimes this may be because the property line is ambiguous or because the way you inherit or obtain it is invalid.
And as for family disputes, these cases happen when familial relations are strained. These can be splitting the monetary arrangements following a divorce, child support, and similar situations.
The best way to proceed with any of these situations is to consult a corresponding civil litigation attorney.
How Common Civil Disputes Work
So what are the major steps of a Houston TX civil litigation case? Although your civil case may differ from someone else’s, they all go through the same basic steps.
If you want to file a civil lawsuit, you should first go to a civil attorney. Your lawyer can explain to you the whole process and determine whether you have a solid case. If it is, they can also figure out the best way to build that case.
The next step is investigation. Your lawyer will dig into the details of your case, maybe with the help of a private investigator. They’ll find the proof you need to start building evidence for your case.
Once there’s enough evidence, the next step is “pleadings.” Both parties will file pleadings, which is a document explaining their side of the case. The plaintiff’s pleading is called a “complaint,” which the court will give to the defendant. They will then “answer” the accusation or ask for clarification.
Then the discovery, which is where your lawyer handles the bulk of the information. That’s because this process involves in-depth research, document reviews, witness interviews, and other steps to figure out the entire case. This step is time-consuming, but it’ll help when you get to pre-trial.
A pre-trial is where your and the other party’s lawyer begin negotiations. Often enough, most settlements happen here. If both sides can agree on the amount of money or action, you can skip the trial altogether.
Settling earlier will save you the fees and time spent during a trial. If you don’t reach an agreement, it goes to trial.
Consulting a Lawyer
There are several civil courts: district courts, state and federal trial, and appellate court. An appellate court is for appealing a case resolved by a lower court. It just means you want to review the decision made. If the appeal is reasonable, the original decision can be reversed.
Figuring out where your case falls into the spectrum is the first step to solving your issue. To start a lawsuit, consult a lawyer well-versed in civil law who can handle cases similar to your situation. Finding a lawyer who specializes in your specific problem is beneficial to solve your dispute smoothly.
If you’re searching for a lawyer in Houston that can help you with your civil dispute, contact the Okonji Law Office. Mr. Okonji specializes in real estate law, focusing on landlord-tenant disputes and contract law. The State Bar of Texas and the U.S. Federal District Court – the Southern District of Texas admitted him to practice law. With his expertise, he can assist you if you have a property issue.
Whether you’re looking for legal advice or representation in the Greater Houston area, you can ask Mr. Okonji for help. Schedule an appointment with Mr. John Okonji today if you’re looking for legal assistance for a Houston TX civil litigation case.
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