Going to court without the support of a civil litigation lawyer places you at a disadvantage. Even if the facts are on your side, you may not succeed at articulating them well. You could get distracted by unfamiliar court procedures. The intense emotional and financial stakes of your case could throw you off track when responding to questions from the judge. Civil lawyers insulate you from these pressures and help you present your position with clarity and legal precision.
What’s a Civil Dispute?
A civil dispute refers to a legal question that does not involve criminal charges. Private individuals and businesses or organizations can bring civil lawsuits against other parties over matters of civil law. This differs from criminal cases that must be initiated by government authorities.
Civil disputes encompass numerous areas of law. Examples of civil cases include breach of contract, personal injury, estate litigation, and family law matters related to divorce and child custody and support.
Who Needs a Civil Lawyer?
Answering this question ties into the question of what is a civil litigation lawyer? These lawyers possess the training and experience to research your legal arguments, prepare court filings, and present your case at trial. They are known as litigators because they represent clients in civil cases as opposed to barristers who represent criminal defendants in criminal court. Of course, a lawyer may work in both capacities. The terms are used to differentiate between civil and criminal functions.
Knowing what a civil litigation lawyer is introduces you to the many duties that the litigator can perform on your behalf. When you wonder if I need a lawyer for a civil suit, the answer could very well be yes if you anticipate going to court. A civil matter, like a divorce or child custody dispute, may rely on thoroughly communicating your rights and the benefits to the family.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer for a Civil Suit?
A lawyer can identify the laws that support your position and cite them to a court in Edmonton. These legal arguments need to be communicated in written court filings and verbal presentations in court. Without legal representation, you may not be aware of every law or precedent that you could leverage to your advantage. As a result, you could miss opportunities to advance your agenda.
What Does a Civil Lawyer Do?
Knowing what lawyers do in civil cases will help you appreciate how much work is necessary to prepare for court. Civil cases move through three main stages that are pleadings, discovery, and trial. The lawyer files the pleadings with the court that explain the plaintiff’s or defendant’s case.
During discovery, both sides must share their evidence. A civil litigation lawyer could explain what you must disclose and then organize this information for sharing. The lawyer will also scrutinize the evidence provided by the other side and develop arguments to minimize it.
At the trial, your lawyer would present your evidence. Some cases are decided by judges while others involve a jury. Either way, the presentation of the case must resonate with the decision maker. If you’re the plaintiff, you bear the burden of proving your legal point. If you’re the defendant, your lawyer would strive to promote your side and diminish the arguments made by the plaintiff. Cross examination of the witnesses for the opposing side by your lawyer could potentially reveal weaknesses in the case.
Keep in mind that what lawyers do in civil cases may also include negotiating a settlement prior to going to trial. This is actually a common occurrence. According to the Department of Justice, 98% of civil suits do not go to trial. This happens because one side drops the suit or the lawyer manages to negotiate a resolution acceptable to the client.
7 Reasons to Hire a Civil Litigation Lawyer
A closer look at what a civil lawyer does will help you understand the potential benefits of hiring a professional trained to assert your legal rights.
- Find out how strong your case is
Your desire for a specific outcome may outweigh the evidence in your favor. A case evaluation by a lawyer will inform you about the legal arguments that could help your cause. Consulting a lawyer lets you learn your odds of succeeding in court. This essentially controls your risk so that you avoid forging ahead with a weak case that could cost you money.
- Protect your financial interests
Although hiring a civil lawyer represents a cost, you could view it as an investment. The lawyer’s services may result in protecting your interests during the division of assets necessary for a divorce. You may avoid unnecessary losses when you can defend your rights. Additionally, a fair and accurate calculation of child support or spousal support will have a long-term influence on your financial life.
- Protect yourself from self-incrimination
Although you are not a criminal defendant, you may disclose information in error that threatens your legal position. A lawyer could speak on your behalf with deliberate and measured statements. Unfortunately, when speaking for yourself, your emotions could derail the point that you wish to make.
- Outsource difficult and complicated legal paperwork
Many intelligent people may possess the grit and determination to represent themselves. However, the work of going to court can be both time consuming and tedious. Even diligent research on your part may not protect you from making a paperwork mistake. By shifting this work to a lawyer, you could increase the accuracy and thoroughness of your legal filings. Additionally, you spare yourself from hours upon hours of labor so that you can focus on family, career, business, or leisure.
- Access legal experience
On top of procedural and paperwork experience, a civil lawyer who practices in Edmonton, Alberta, will know the judges in the area. Knowledge of judges’ views, tendencies, and dislikes accumulates over years of interacting with them in local courts. Familiarity with judges helps lawyers frame their presentations in ways that appeal to judges’ sensitivities.
- Improve negotiations
As was mentioned, civil litigation does not always culminate in a trial. The opposing parties have the option of reaching a settlement prior to trial. Coming to terms outside of court protects you from the unknown factors of how a judge or jury might decide the case. A lawyer could help you focus on what could be acceptable instead of what would be ideal. Successful negotiations save you time and money while reducing risk.
- Prepare you to meet an opposing party with a lawyer
If the party that you are planning to oppose has a lawyer, then you need a lawyer to be on equal footing in court. Civil disputes are adversarial matters, and you want to be ready to rebut the allegations and evidence that might be aimed at you by another lawyer.
How to Find a Good Civil Lawyer in Edmonton
To hire a lawyer, you should meet with lawyers in Edmonton who practice in the area of law applicable to your case. At Kolinsky Law, family law is one of our primary areas of practice. If you are in the midst of a contested divorce, the Queen’s Bench of Alberta may ultimately decide the division of property, child custody, and child support or spousal support orders.
Talk to us today so that we can outline your legal options and best strategies. Our expertise and dedication to your case could spare you from stress and unnecessary costs. Contact our office today.