There are two general categories of law, civil and criminal law. Civil law falls under the category of law that pertains to wrongs against a person or against their property. On the flip side of the coin is criminal law that deals with cases against the society. Civil lawsuits generally deal with cases that are not criminal in nature such as negligence, personal injury, family dispute and small claim litigation.
Personal injury cases, e.g., automotive accident fall under the scope of civil law. Allegation of negligence could also lead to civil litigation, e.g., on property that causes damage due to neglect by owner. As mentioned, family law cases such as adoptions, divorces, child custody issues, all fall under this scope of civil law.
The other thing worth mentioning is there could be specific courts meant for specific types of civil law cases. A very common example is a family law court tasked with handling matters to deal with family. There are also small claim courts designed to hear and decide on those cases falling under the civil law category.
In the US, a civil lawsuit proceeding will commence when a case is filed against another person for wrongdoing. Whoever files the lawsuit is referred to as the plaintiff and whoever is being sued is referred to as the defendant. Most plaintiffs work hand in hand with civil law attorneys to help ascertain the validity of case and help issue notice of complaint to the defendant.
It needs no mentioning the burden of proof often lies on the plaintiff to prove beyond reasonable doubt that their claims are valid. It is thus the responsibility of the plaintiff to find a competent lawyer that will help ensure they prove beyond any doubt they deserve to be heard. it is also worth noting plaintiffs are often given precedence in the presentation of evidence before the defendants are given a chance to do the same.
Unless either party requests for a jury trial, results of most civil law cases will be determined and issued by a judge. In the event of a jury trial, the panel would be made up of between six and twelve attorneys who deliberate on the case privately to reach a decision. Unless on very rare occasions, the jury’s verdict is often unanimous. Having said that, it is highly recommended you identify a reputable civil law firm to handle your case. Competence of an attorney is key when it comes to success in civil law cases.