Whether another party filed a civil complaint against you, you want to file a civil suit, or you just have questions regarding a legal matter, an Amelia Island civil litigation attorney is an invaluable resource. At Montague Law, we provide individuals and corporations with a broad range of civil litigation solutions.
Our legal team has extensive experience in various civil litigation matters, including land-use conflicts, contract litigation, landlord-tenant disputes, commercial issues, multi-state litigation, appeals, and more. You can count on us for reliable legal advice and representation, mediation, and other alternative dispute resolution techniques.
Contact us today at 904-234-5653 to schedule an initial consultation and get professional legal guidance.
What is Civil Litigation?
In many ways, civil litigation is the same as criminal prosecution. The parties to each type of case need to present arguments to a presiding officer in a federal or state court. The judge then examines the evidence before making a ruling.
A criminal case is the prosecution of a criminal defendant by the state. The court will determine whether the criminal defendant is guilty of a crime and impose a sentence.
In a civil litigation case, the dispute is between two private parties, and the state has no involvement in the matter. In this type of case, one party (the plaintiff) seeks compensation for damages from the other (the defendant), and the court analyses evidence to determine the defendant’s liability.
If the judge finds that the defendant is liable for the plaintiff’s damages, they may order the defendant to compensate the plaintiff.
Nassau County Civil Litigation Lawyer: What We Do
As a civil litigation law firm, we represent natural persons or entities in non-criminal cases. During civil trials, we take on various responsibilities. When you approach us for legal assistance in a civil dispute, we will start by evaluating your situation, collecting evidence from the other parties, and preparing your case.
We can represent you during all proceedings, including the pre-trial hearing, settlement conferences, or depositions. We also assist and represent clients during arbitration and mediation. The goal of mediation and arbitration is to reach a settlement with the other party before the matter goes to court.
As your litigator, we pull out all the stops to achieve a desirable outcome. Our legal team will consult with you throughout the process to update you on the latest developments.
Types of Civil Litigation Matters
Our legal team can take care of any civil litigation matter. Some of the most common civil disputes we handle here in Amelia Island include:
- Breach of contract disputes
- Business and commercial disputes
- Contractual disputes
- Construction disputes
- Copyright and other intellectual property disputes
- Debt collections
- Divorce, child custody, and other family law disputes
- Employment disputes
- Investment disputes
- Land use disputes
- Landlord-tenant disputes
If you want to pursue a civil claim or defend yourself against one, contact us to schedule a consultation.
When Do You Need an Amelia Island Civil Litigation Lawyer?
Hiring a civil litigation attorney is not always necessary. For example, you may not need legal representation if you and your spouse are going through an uncontested divorce, meaning there is no dispute regarding the division of assets or custody over children.
However, if the civil litigation dispute is complex or the compensation claim is relatively high, it is best to have a trial attorney to protect your interests.
Under Florida law, parties to all commercial litigation matters must have legal representation unless the small claims court hears the case. A small claims matter is one where the claim for damages is less than $8,000.
If you are unsure whether you need a civil litigation attorney’s legal advice and representation, the best course of action is often to hire one. At Montague Law, we are happy to help you determine whether you need representation. That is often a big part of the consultation process.
Common Civil Litigation Cases
Most disputes between private parties fall under the umbrella of civil litigation. A disagreement between neighbors regarding problematic trees or construction issues is a typical example of a civil litigation case.
Other types of civil litigation cases include:
- Commercial and business disputes: These matters involve any corporate claims or disputes, including partnership conflicts, trademark infringements, unfair competition, and even parking disputes.
- Landlord-tenant disputes: Rental contract disagreements often involve failure to pay rent, evictions, and violations of lease agreement terms.
- Contractual disputes: A party to a contract may dispute the contract’s validity, stating that there was no consensus between the parties, that the agreement was unlawful, or that the contract terms are vague or impossible to carry out. Breach of contract is a common form of a contractual dispute and occurs when a party to the contract fails to deliver according to the contract terms.
- Civil torts: Wrongdoing by one person against another often falls under this category, for example, fraudulent misrepresentation, fraudulent inducement, and breach of fiduciary duty.
- Real estate disputes: This type of civil litigation involves disagreements regarding property ownership, property occupation, and property damage.
At Montague Law, we can handle all the above cases and other matters involving estate disputes, divorce, child custody, and more. To speak to an Amelia Island civil litigation lawyer, reach out to our team today.
Civil Litigation: The Process
Every civil litigation case is unique. While the process is often similar, it’s also unfamiliar to many people. That can lead to confusion and frustration. At Montague Law, we will help you navigate the process and go the extra mile to ensure that process runs as smoothly as possible. Here is an overview of common steps in the civil litigation process:
Initiating the Lawsuit
The plaintiff initiates the lawsuit by filing a Complaint and a Summons and serving these documents to the defendant. The Complaint lists all the plaintiff’s claims against the defendant.
After receiving the Complaint and the Summons, the defendant has a specific time to file an Answer in response to the Complaint. The Answer is an admission or denial of the plaintiff’s allegations and may include a legal defense against the plaintiff’s claims. The Answer may also include counterclaims against the plaintiff by the defendant.
If the defendant doesn’t file an Answer to the Complaint within the specified time, the plaintiff may seek a default judgment against the defendant. If the defendant files the Answer, the discovery phase starts.
During the discovery phase, the parties exchange pertinent information regarding the dispute. Discovery occurs by issuing the other party with:
- Written questions they need to answer under oath
- Requests for documents, depositions, or sworn witness statements
Gathering all the relevant information is critical to determine if a settlement is possible. If not, we use the information to prepare for mediation, arbitration, or trial.
During the civil litigation process, any party can file a motion to get a part of their case in front of the court for a decision. Examples of pre-trial motions include motions to dismiss, which challenge the Complaint’s sufficiency, and a summary judgment asking the court to determine if material questions exist for a jury to decide the case.
If the parties fail to settle, the case will go to trial before a judge or a jury. During the trial, both parties need to submit evidence and arguments supporting their side of the case. After hearing and evaluating all evidence, the court will enter a judgment in favor of one party.
Upon conclusion of the trial, one or both parties can appeal the trial court’s judgment. Our legal team at Montague Law will provide you with legal guidance and representation at every stage of the civil litigation process.
Litigating a Civil Case in Federal Court
If you are a party to a dispute filed in the Florida federal court, you need a trial attorney with extensive experience in civil cases. The federal court’s processes and rules differ significantly from those of the courts at the state level, and you need an attorney who can effectively represent your interests.
If you are not a Florida native and need to defend a civil lawsuit in a Florida state court for a claim greater than $75,000, we may be able to help you move your case into the federal court. Our team will pursue every possible avenue to resolve the matter as quickly as possible while working on getting you the best possible outcome.
Let an Amelia Island Civil Litigation Attorney Help
When filing or defending against a civil lawsuit, having a reputable trial attorney in your corner may be critical to protecting your interests. Hiring a knowledgeable attorney will also help you manage your expectations and alleviate the stress of civil litigation.
At Montague Law, we have an excellent track record in Nassau County, and we will take care of every legal aspect regarding your dispute. We have the necessary skills, experience, and qualifications to provide you with a complete legal solution.
Do you have more questions about the civil litigation process or your specific case? Our legal team at Montague Law can give you all the information you need. To schedule an initial consultation with an experienced Amelia Island civil litigation attorney, give us a call at 904-234-5653, and let us walk you through each step of this process.