Civil litigation is now commonplace throughout contemporary American society. Chances are that most Americans will be involved in a legal dispute at least once during their lifetime. Court action carries major implications, as final verdicts can impact you for years.
As such, acquiring the services of an experienced attorney is essential to preserve your legal rights. Following are some common questions and answers about civil lawsuits.
What Is It?
In simple non-technical language, “civil litigation” denotes a dispute or disagreement between two or more private parties. Criminal cases involve official governmental prosecutions for public offenses (i.e., murder). By contrast, civil lawsuits encompass purely private concerns.
What Types of Private Suits Exist?
Money or property is usually at issue in most cases. Many civil suits involve disputes over intangible rights, however. Restraining orders and child custody are two examples.
How Are These Disputes Resolved?
Many forums exist to address and resolve private disagreements. Informal negotiation is perhaps the most common. In this process, either the parties or their attorneys reach a mutually acceptable compromise without court intervention.
Binding arbitration has also become popular in alternative dispute resolution. This process may be regarded as a “compromise” between informal negotiation and full-blown courtroom litigation. Both sides present their positions to a neutral decision maker called an “arbitrator.” After considering all facts and evidence, the arbitrator issues a written verdict. This decision is legally binding upon both sides. However, many procedural rules required by conventional courts are relaxed.
Below are the more common private legal disputes that arise and necessitate assistance from an Iowa lawyer:
Landlord – Tenant
General Labor and Employment Law
What Is the Attorney’s Role?
Capable, ethical Iowa attorneys possess many diverse skills and expertise. Civil lawsuits are inherently adversarial. Any lawyer is legally and ethically obligated to promote your interests to the fullest extent of the law. This remains true for all stages of the entire process. Fulfilling this monumental duty entails a long list of tasks and necessary resources, including:
- Exceptional writing and speaking ability
- Strong deductive and analytical reasoning skill
- Effective negotiation skills for maximizing out-of-court settlements
What Is Discovery?
As its title implies, “discovery” is the process of discovering all relevant facts and information that pertain to your case. If, for instance, the motorist who broadsided you in an auto accident has a prior history of drunken driving arrests, this knowledge is very helpful to your case. A good lawyer has the knowledge and resources to ferret out such valuable “nuggets” of data.
In addition, an Iowa civil litigation attorney has ongoing access to extensive legal databases and law libraries. The law is very dynamic. Iowa courts and the State Legislature change the rules almost every day.
Many developments can dramatically alter the legal landscape. Such changes often require major adjustments in case preparation and presentation strategies.
Clearly, a good Iowa civil litigation attorney is an indispensable ally in any private dispute. Our initial consultation allows you to get an accurate, realistic assessment and thorough understanding of your true legal position. Contact us today. Hesitation may result in the permanent impairment or even ruination of your chances for recovery.