Civil Litigation Process in Florida: What to Expect

Civil Litigation Process in Florida: What to Expect

Civil law encompasses many different forms of litigation. Divorce, personal injury or tort cases, business disagreements, and more. Lawyers who practice civil law are called litigators. Each state has it’s own specific rules that govern how civil litigation happens when a dispute arises in that state. Florida civil practice and procedure laws will dictate the way that these proceedings are handled. Civil cases are very different from criminal cases as punishments like jail time are not an outcome. 

If you have a civil case in Florida, then working with an attorney who specializes in the area of civil law that pertains to your case is critical. The Tampa civil litigation attorneys at Fulgencio Law offer legal counsel and representation in the following areas:

  • Consumer complaints
  • Insurance disputes
  • Money owed matters
  • Contractual disputes
  • Fraud
  • Ownership disputes
  • Real estate disputes
  • Personal injuries

The Florida Civil Litigation Process Explained

Civil Litigation Process in Florida What to ExpectThere are essentially three stages of the civil trial process to understand. These are:


When you have a civil suit you will meet with your attorney and discuss the details of your situation. Your attorney will examine all the information to determine if you have a case to make or not. When there is a viable case, a lawsuit may be the right approach to resolving things, or another alternative dispute resolution may be better. When a lawsuit is filed, the following will happen:

  • The plaintiff will file a complaint with the court. Each side, the plaintiff and the defendant will present their arguments and what they want to prove. It is possible that at this point, a defendant can also file a counterclaim.
  • Time is taken for both sides to take meticulous steps towards gathering extensive information and evidence to support their case. This is called discovery. During discovery, attorneys can file motions for actions they would prefer the judge make. A case may resolve and end during discovery and never actually go to trial.


Although many civil disputes do not go to court because they are settled during negotiations, some will. When an agreement cannot be met, then a case may go to trial and be seen before a judge. In a civil case, to be successful, proof must be by the preponderance of the evidence. In other words, the evidence shows it is more than likely that the defendant is liable for damages. Either a judge or a jury will come to a verdict and a judgment will be made.


The outcome of a trial judgment does not mean that the process will conclude. Appeals can take place. Florida allows for 30 days after a judgment to appeal. An appeal can lead to a reversal in judgment, uphold the judgment, send it back to a lower court, or dismiss it.

Speak with an Attorney at Fulgencio Law Today

There are several stages to civil litigation in Florida and anything can happen along the way which can change the direction a case takes. 

For assistance with a civil litigation matter in Florida, please call a Tampa civil litigation lawyer at Fulgencio Law at (813) 463-0123 to schedule a free consultation.

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