What is Civil Litigation in Pennsylvania?
Civil litigation encompasses all types of court action except for criminal law. Many cases settle outside of court because negotiation and settlement are often preferable and less expensive than going to trial. However, in some cases, justice will only be served by bringing the issue before a judge. Attorney Adams is an experienced civil litigator; she has practiced in Pennsylvania trial courts for over a decade and will work hard to get you the best result.
Types of Civil Litigation at Alpha Omega
Auto accident claims are often resolved via negotiations with insurance companies without court intervention. Having an attorney involved in those negotiations results in a better outcome for the individual. However, sometimes, a personal injury claim or lawsuit must be filed to get the compensation a party deserves. Attorney Adams knows when a case needs litigation and is not afraid to file a lawsuit when necessary.
Consumer Debt Law
Unlawful debt collection practices should not be tolerated. If you’ve been the subject of illegal collection practices, litigation may be needed to get the debt collector’s attention. Courts will award damages to consumers subjected to harassing or unlawful debt collection methods.
A divorce or custody order must be entered via the court system. Sometimes the terms of a divorce or custody order can be negotiated between the parties outside of court, but other times a court will need to make a decision. Kelly Adams is well-versed in both approaches to family law and will not hesitate to take your divorce or custody case to trial if needed.
You deserve compensation for injuries that were no fault of your own. At-fault parties will rarely pay all the damages for a severe injury on their own, so these cases often need to be ligated.
Real Estate Law
The most common cause of civil litigation for real estate law is property disputes or breaches of a real estate contract. If you have been served a complaint for a real estate law action or believe you need to take someone to court for a real estate matter, contact an experienced civil litigator like Attorney Adams.
Civil Litigation Process
Every kind of civil litigation has its own process, but in general, litigation includes the following:
- Filing and service of a complaint
This notifies the defendant that a court action has begun and outlines the plaintiff’s request for relief.
The defendant will have a certain amount of time to file a written response to the complaint, indicating their agreement or disagreement with the complaint. If the defendant does not respond within a time limit, the plaintiff can ask for the relief they requested by default.
- Pre-trial motions and discovery
Before a case can go to trial, both parties usually need more information. Gathering information for a court case is called discovery, and parties can collect information via depositions, interrogatories, requests for the production of documents, subpoenas, and more.
Before, during, or after the discovery phase, either side may make pre-trial motions. These are requests for smaller decisions before trial. This can include requests to compel discovery answers, to allow specific evidence at trial, and many more. In family law cases, pre-trial motions frequently include requests for temporary custody, alimony, or child support orders, to take effect before the case goes to trial.
Once discovery is complete, there is usually an attempt to negotiate a settlement and avoid the necessity of trial. This often takes the form of mediation or a settlement conference, in which the parties will attempt to reach an agreement satisfactory to both sides.
If negotiations fail, the last step of civil litigation is to go to trial and present facts and arguments to a judge or jury for a ruling.
Hire a Trial Attorney for Your Civil Litigation Matter
Many good attorneys successfully practice law without going to court. They can be excellent advocates in negotiation or mediation, but it takes experience and in-depth knowledge of civil procedure to excel at civil litigation.
Kelly Adams is an experienced trial attorney who knows when negotiations have failed, and it’s time to let a judge decide. Contact her at (610) 222-6122 to schedule a consultation and discuss the best approach for your case.