Civil litigation is a term that refers to the civil court process. After a lawsuit is filed, the defendant is served with the complaint. This is done oftentimes by the local sheriff’s department. In some cases, service is done by a private process server. In most civil cases, the defendant only has 20 days to file a formal response to the complaint after being served. Thus, time is of the essence.
Lawsuits filed in a state court in the State of Florida (for example, Duval County) are governed by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. Lawsuits filed in the United States District Court (for example, Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division) are governed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Many of these Rules of Procedure have sub-parts and specific deadlines to act. While these Rules may seem straightforward, there are thousands of cases throughout the State of Florida and the federal courts that interpret these Rules. In addition to all of these Rules and cases, each court and judge may have their own special rules, known as local rules. Trying to prepare and file your own lawsuit or defend against a lawsuit can be a daunting and difficult task.
Our attorneys have several years of experience handling civil cases as both counsel for the plaintiff and defendant. We often assist clients with pre-litigation negotiations in an attempt to avoid costly litigation. If litigation is the only option, we’ve handled cases all the way from the initial research and filing through trial. Depending on the type of case, our office can offer lower-than-market hourly rates and contingency-based fee arrangements.
If you are served with a lawsuit, don’t hesitate to contact our office to discuss your case. As mentioned, you may only have 20 days to file a formal response. If you need to file a lawsuit against an individual or business, don’t go it alone. Contact our office to discuss the facts of your case and let us help you through the civil litigation process.
Our attorneys also have experience handling civil appeals. Unlike a lawsuit, appeals are governed by a whole new set of rules known as the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure. Appellate cases are very different from civil court cases. There are typically no court hearings in appellate cases. Rather, the purpose of an appellate case is to review a certain decision or decisions made by the lower court to see if the decision was correct. An appellate case requires a review of the lower court case, a great deal of legal research, and a tireless attention to detail. Additionally, due to the fact that there are generally no hearings in appellate cases, briefs, replies, and motions filed in an appellate case have to be written meticulously and methodically and be very precise.
The Rules provide very specific deadlines on how long you have to file an appeal after an adverse ruling. If you feel as though your civil case ended against you due to the incorrect application of the rules of procedure or an error in interpretation of the law or evidence, don’t delay in contacting our office for a consultation.