Are You Looking For A Civil Litigation Attorney In Florida? Contact Fulgentcio Law today to discuss your options!
Civil lawsuits cover a wide variety of matters, from business contracts to consumer issues. Whether you are being sued by someone or are filing a lawsuit of your own, it is essential that you have a qualified legal team on your side to ensure that you get the best possible representation. Civil litigation is a legal dispute between two or more parties, whether they be individuals or businesses, that seek damages and/or other remedies beyond criminal sanctions. In other words, this is a non-criminal dispute.
Over the past few years, our team of Tampa civil defense attorneys has successfully represented a number of clients with civil claims. We defend people and corporations against fraud-related claims. We also file lawsuits on behalf of people who are victims of others’ wrongdoing or fraud. For the victims filing the lawsuit, Florida law provides many ways in which the victimized person can recover his or her losses. In some cases, will permit the Plaintiff to seek triple the amount of the actual loss sustained.
If you are involved in a civil case and feel as though your rights have been violated in the Tampa Bay area, you need a Florida lawyer with expertise in the field of civil law. Call Fulgencio Law today to speak with a knowledgeable lawyer about your specific situation.
At Fulgencio Law, we represent clients in a variety of different types of civil litigation cases, including:
- Consumer complaints- A report from a consumer providing documentation about a problem with a product or service. Customer complaints are usually informal complaints directly addressed to a company or public service provider, and most customers manage to resolve problems with products and services, but it sometimes requires persistence.
- Insurance disputes- When an insurance company and a policyholder do not agree on the terms of a settlement. The insurance company may deny the claim outright, offer less than the claimant believes his or her damages are worth or delay payout without a valid explanation.
- Money owed matters- When a person owes another money and refuses to pay the amount. The plaintiff in these cases can sue the defendant for the money they are owed.
- Contractual disputes- These typically occur when a party does not comply with the terms of a contract or does not perform their side of its obligations under a contract.
- Fraud- Intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain, or to deprive a victim of a legal right.
- Ownership Disputes- Disputes between business owners happen when one owner feels that another owner has not adequately represented the interests of all parties in making decisions on behalf of the corporation.
- Real Estate Disputes- These lawsuits are often filed over issues such as foreclosure, mortgage disputes, establishing property title and boundary lines, and zoning and land use issues.
- Personal Injuries- Personal injury cases are also considered civil litigation cases because criminal charges are not being pressed. The victim in this type of case would be the plaintiff and the party who is at-fault for the injury would be the defendant. However, with most personal injury cases, the plaintiff’s attorney doesn’t collect fees unless they win the case.
Call Fulgencio Law today for a free, no-obligation, and confidential consultation, or schedule your consultation online at your earliest convenience. Our knowledgeable team of civil litigation attorneys is here to answer any questions you may have about your situation and help you determine if you have a case.
How Is A Civil Litigation Case Handled?
Civil litigation goes through specific steps, also called proceedings. First and foremost, before anything else, it is important that you consult with an attorney for legal advice. You need to make sure that you have a solid case so that you don’t waste time and resources filing a case that is likely to be unsuccessful. An experienced civil litigation attorney can help you determine the strength of your case.
Consultations with a knowledgeable civil litigation attorney are free, so don’t hold back any information about your case. An open and honest consultation will give your potential attorney all of the information they need and a better understanding of your case. After the initial consultation, your civil lawsuit case will follow four common steps:
- Pleadings- The initial step of a civil lawsuit. Both parties will file paperwork to explain their side of the story. The plaintiff, or the person bringing the lawsuit, will file a complaint. The person being accused of doing wrong, or the defendant, will file an answer. The defendant can also file a counter-complaint if they wish. A counter-complaint is an allegation that the plaintiff did wrong to the defendant.
- Discovery- After both parties have filed their proper paperwork, they enter the discovery stage of the lawsuit. Discovery is just that, discovering the truth about the case. This is generally the longest part of the civil lawsuit process. Each party will obtain evidence through depositions (sworn, out-of-court- oral testimonies), interrogatories (formal questions and answers written under oath), and demands for production of documents, also called subpoenas.
- Trial- If the dispute is not resolved out of court, then the case will go to trial. Each party will submit a brief to the judge. A brief is a document that outlines the party’s argument as well as any evidence that the party will present during the trial. Both parties will give their opening statements, present their cases using the evidence found in the discovery stage, and then give a closing statement. In the case of a bench trial, the judge deliberates for a period of time until a verdict is reached. If the case is a jury trial, the judge instructs the jury on the legal basis that it should apply to the evidence. The jury then deliberates until a verdict is reached.
- Appeal- If a party does not agree with the result of the trial, they can appeal the decision. If a decision is appealed, then the civil lawsuit is presented to an appellate court that reviews the previous proceedings of the lawsuit. Each party will submit a brief and a record of evidence from trial to the appellate court.
Standard Of Proof In Florida A Civil Case
In most civil cases, the judge or jury has to make a decision about which side wins based on a standard called preponderance of the evidence. This doesn’t mean that one side ended up bringing more evidence than the other side, it just means that one side’s evidence was more convincing than the other’s.
In some cases, the standard for reaching a decision is clear and convincing evidence. This means that the winner needs to prove that his version of the facts is highly likely. It is an intermediate degree of proof, more than the preponderance of the evidence, but less than the certainty required to prove an issue beyond a reasonable doubt like with criminal cases.
What Is The Difference Between A Civil Case And A Criminal Lawsuit?
While both civil and criminal cases involve complex legal proceedings and can go to a formal trial, there are a few distinct differences between the two forms of legal actions. A civil case, as mentioned above, can be brought by anyone, whether it be an individual or a company, against another individual or company. Generally, civil cases are brought to seek monetary compensation and a formal apology.
A criminal lawsuit has to be brought before the court through a formal accusation. The government handles this kind of lawsuit on behalf of the people, not by the victim as with civil cases. Sentences in criminal cases are far more severe than in civil cases, including prison time and monetary fines.
What Do I Do If I’m Being Sued?
If you have received a summons and a complaint, chances are, someone is trying to sue you. Simply ignoring the summons isn’t going to make the problem go away, and it could result in the court awarding a money judgment against you by default.
A default judgment could mean having your wages garnished or property is taken away. There are steps you can take to make sure you file your response so you don’t get a default judgment if you’re being sued:
- Determine The Deadline To Respond- However you decide to respond to a lawsuit, remember there are deadlines. Typically, the amount of time to respond is 20 calendar days from the date you receive the summons and complaint, not including the day of service. Depending on the case, that time limit might be shorter or longer. If a response is not filed within the time limit, then the plaintiff will ask for a default judgment.
- Evaluate Your Options- There are a number of options you have once you have been served with a complaint. You can try to talk to the plaintiff to negotiate a resolution before the time limit is up, file an answer, file a motion to dismiss, or for a more definite statement, file a counter-claim, or simply do nothing which would lead to a default judgment. You may have other options as well. The best way to evaluate your options is to consult with an attorney.
- Prepare Your Response- In preparing a written answer to the court, there is certain information that needs to be included so that your answer will be properly recorded when it is received. If you are denying something that is in the plaintiff’s complaint, you should briefly state your reasoning for denying it or part of it. For example, if the complaint is you owe the plaintiff money but you’ve already paid it, then you can deny that part of the complaint and explain that you have already paid the plaintiff the money.
- File Your Response With The Court- This is pretty self-explanatory. Make sure that your response is sent to the correct court with any filing fees. If you can’t afford to pay the filing fee, some courts will send you a fee waiver application.
- Give The Plaintiff A Copy Of Your Answer- When you are finished with your response, before sending it to the court, you should make two copies of it. One copy will be sent to the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s attorney, and the other copy you should keep for yourself. This is to prove that the original document was filed with the court.
- Know What To Expect Next- What happens next will depend on what you filed. If you filed an answer, the case will move forward. If you filed an answer and a counterclaim, the Plaintiff will likely file a response to your counterclaim. And the case will move forward from there. If you filed a motion, a hearing will be scheduled for the court to make a decision. After your motion is resolved (and assuming the case is not dismissed), the case will move forward from there.
No matter which side of a lawsuit you find yourself on, we know that it is not an enjoyable experience for any of the parties involved. Lawsuits are often long, drawn-out, and expensive for all.
Our team of civil litigation attorneys at Fulgencio Law understands this which is why we will fight to get you the best outcome in your case. Our team will fight on your behalf from your initial mediation until your case is resolved. Mediation is something that the Florida courts usually require in all civil cases.
Call us today for your free, no-obligation, and confidential consultation to discuss your case and to answer any questions you may have about how to move forward with the case.
Speaking With A Civil Litigation Attorney In Tampa
Whether you’re the plaintiff in a civil lawsuit or the defendant, you’re going to need an experienced Florida civil litigation attorney on your side. Our dedicated and compassionate team of civil litigation attorneys at Fulgencio Law has the time, experience, and resources needed to handle your delicate and unique case.
We focus our representation on three main categories: personal injury, consumer protection, and insurance company disputes, all in which we can accurately and efficiently form a case to suit your needs. Call us today at (813)463-0123 or visit fulgencio-law.com to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation. We will stand b