Civil Litigation

Civil Litigation

Civil litigation is a term used to describe the legal process applied to resolve non-criminal disputes. The process typically commences when a party (an individual, business entity or government entity) files a lawsuit seeking a court order against another party for compensation of damages, for specific performance of a contract, or for another remedy allowed by the law. Civil litigation is thus the filing and subsequent process of attempting to resolve a civil lawsuit; civil litigation is incorporated into a non-criminal dispute to help produce a resolution. Civil litigation will aim to resolve such disputes as family law disputes, contract disputes, property disputes, and personal injury claims.

Lawyers or legal professionals who specialize in civil litigation are known as “litigators.”  We are legal professionals who practice civil litigation by representing a party in a trial, a hearing, or a form of alternative resolution method, such as arbitrations or mediations. These forms of hearings are heard by administrative agencies, foreign tribunals and federal, state, or local court systems.


Whereas commercial litigation is civil litigation, commercial litigation typically refers to civil litigation disputes involving business entities or some kind of business interest or venture.

  • The ways to civil litigation are many, but there are some types that are common:
  • Anti-trust litigation – Lawsuits against a business to challenge its monopoly status
  • Breach of contract – Lawsuits filed because at least one party to a contract believes the other violated the terms
  • Divorce/family law – Civil suits requesting the legal dissolution of a marriage contract; often includes child custody, property settlements, and other agreements per the family court ruling
  • Employment/labor disputes – Any disputes an employee may have with an employer requiring a legal solution
  • Intellectual property disputes – Copyright infringement or any disputes related to intellectual property will be handled in a civil suit
  • Investment fraud – Sometimes called “securities litigation,” these lawsuits involve parties who feel they were misled about an investment
  • Landlord/tenant disputes – Evictions, lease agreements, violations of agreements
  • Medical malpractice lawsuits – Medical malpractice lawsuits, when someone sues a hospital or practitioner, take place in civil courts
  • Personal injury/tort– Personal injuries such as in auto accidents, slip and fall accidents, and head injuries are frequently settled by the civil courts
  • Property disputes – When claims are made against property lines, fast action is needed – especially if the matter involves a fruit-bearing tree over a fence
  • Real estate disputes – Disputes that arise between buyers and sellers
  • Workers’ compensation claims – Disputes between employees and employers that arise when someone has been injured on the job

Many new clients ask, “What happens after we file the lawsuit?”

That is both an easy and difficult question to answer.

The simple answer is that there will be process wherein the parties to the lawsuit prepare the matter for a trial.  This involves conducting discovery (investigating the case and disclosing evidence), taking depositions, and filing motions before the Court.  If the parties cannot resolve or “settle” the dispute before trial, the parties will try the case before a judge or jury.  After the trial, the parties may appeal the decision.

The difficult answer is that once a civil lawsuit is filed, anything can happen. A case that seemed solid could fall apart; a flimsy case can sprout wings and fly. However, at TheGem Law, our decades of experience enable us to inform our clients about what to expect. We will not hide bad news, nor will we boast. We will simply do what we say we will do.