Virginia Civil Litigation Lawyer

Even though the defendant may not end up spending any time in prison as a result, civil litigation can have more dramatic impacts on everyone involved in both the short term and the long term. However, due to the immense financial and personal impact these cases may have, they can be very procedurally complex and difficult to manage, especially if you try to fight your case without professional help from a dedicated local attorney.

Regardless of whether you are a plaintiff or a defendant in a civil litigation matter, it is paramount that you have experienced legal representation in your corner every step of the way. Once retained, a Virginia civil litigation lawyer could help you better understand your legal rights and options, as well as provide the strong advocacy on your behalf that you need and deserve.

Common Examples of Civil Litigation Cases

Civil litigation covers a wide range of legal matters and generally refers to any case that is not specifically criminal in nature. Although, certain situations may have both civil and criminal implications. Either way, the following are among the most common types of civil cases that a Virginia civil litigation attorney may be able to assist with.

Real and Personal Property Disagreements

Property litigation may involve a range of property types, including commercial, industrial, and residential property. Civil property claims commonly involve disputes regarding ownership, boundary lines or adverse possession, or damage inflicted to someone’s property through trespass or misuse. A qualified attorney may also be able to help smooth out disputes that involve one party being opposed to another’s intention to purchase, sell, or develop of a certain piece of land.

Landlord/Tenant Disputes

Civil litigation cases may also pertain to disagreements between landlords and tenants. For instance, a tenant may relocate from a property and sue the landlord to recover their security deposit, or a landlord might sue to recover unpaid rent or attempt to evict their tenant for improper maintenance or wrongful use of the property. Landlord/tenant disputes also arise in a commercial context, typically when commercial tenants challenge assessments or notice rights listed in the lease.

Breach of Contract Disputes

When someone signs a contract and is unable to or refuses to satisfy the terms, the other party may be able to seek damages from the breaching party. A civil litigation attorney in Virginia could handle contract claims regarding services, distribution of goods, sale of goods, and more.

Man Raising Right Hand

Shareholder/Partnership Disputes

Shareholders of a corporation, members of an LLC, or partners in a business, have rights that need to be protected. However, LLC operating agreements and partnership agreements tend to be complicated, and legal help may be necessary to address questions of corporate authority, the right to object to and/or vote on corporate actions and resolutions, questions of valuation, and disputes involving shareholder agreements. A civil litigation attorney in Virginia could also help chart a path forward through disagreements between vendors and customers, dissolution disputes, issues with mergers and acquisitions, and problems with competitors and government agencies.

Trademark and Intellectual Property Disputes

Especially in the modern age, the most valuable assets many companies have are intellectual in nature rather than physical, and it is crucial to protect and enforce legal rights regarding the possession and use of this property. Skilled legal counsel could help file suit over or contest an allegation of trademark infringement, address misappropriation of intellectual property, and seek to enforce or challenge the enforceability of non-compete and non-disclosure agreements.

How Civil Litigation Works

The civil litigation process involves a series of phases. During the investigation phase, an attorney could explore the case in detail and form an effective strategy for the case. A lawyer could file pleadings to commence a lawsuit or respond to a previously filed suit and motions to request an order from the Court asking that the case be stayed or dismissed.

Next is discovery, which is often the lengthiest portion of the civil litigation process. The attorneys for both parties take depositions, issue subpoenas, and submit interrogatories and requests for production of documents, interview witnesses and review documents. Interrogatories and depositions are formal questions presented and answered under oath and penalty of perjury.

After discovery, the case turns to the final stage: trial. Often, it may be possible to resolve the legal dispute through an out-of-court settlement agreement. If not, and the case does proceed to trial, both sides would present their cases before a judge or jury who would enter a final judgement on the merits of the evidence. A Virginia attorney could provide advice about the possibility of attaining an out of court settlement, as well as what to expect if the case goes to trial.

Alternative Options for Dispute Resolution

Unlike criminal matters, civil litigation does not always have to involve court hearings and judicial rulings, and the majority of civil cases do not. While proceeding to a court trial is always an option, there are various alternative methods available for resolving a civil dispute out of court, many of which are cheaper, faster, and allow both parties to have more control over the outcome and more privacy compared to a court decision.

In the best-case scenarios, a civil dispute can be addressed through nothing more complex than confidential negotiation in good faith between both parties. Without needing to involve any third parties other than personal legal counsel, a civil plaintiff and defendant may be able to hash out a misunderstanding or disagreement quickly and efficiently through private negotiation. Sometimes, it may be helpful to engage in mediation instead, which is essentially a guided negotiation session in which a neutral third-party mediator informally works to enable a productive and cooperative discussion.

However, if negotiations are not possible or would not be fair to one party or the other due to a power disparity between the two, it may still be possible to avoid court by going through a process known as arbitration, which entails submitting evidence and arguments to a neutral party who privately adjudicates the matter. However, this process is often adversarial in nature and does not generally allow for appeals, and it may be required in some cases depending on the terms of relevant contracts.

The Value of a Skilled Civil Litigation Attorney

A skilled Virginia attorney could handle each aspect of the civil litigation process, from conducting an exhaustive pre-suit investigation and gathering evidence in discovery to pursuing a settlement or favorable adjudication at trial. Depending on the type of case involved, an attorney could pursue financial compensation or an equitable remedy, or both, on behalf of the client. Financial compensation is designed to make the claimant whole again for the losses they have endured, while an equitable remedy is an order enforceable by the court compelling a party to act or refrain from acting in a certain way.

Speak with a Virginia Civil Litigation Attorney

Regardless of the grounds that justify civil litigation or the evidence available to both sides, these types of cases can be hard to pursue and even harder to get a positive result out of. Seeking help from an attorney who has assisted individuals in your situation before could be essential to ensuring your rights are effectively protected, as well as enabling you to seek any equitable or financial damages to which you may be entitled.

If you need help filing a lawsuit, believe you were wronged by other people or businesses, or you were sued by another party, a Virginia civil litigation lawyer could provide you with sound counsel and aggressive representation. Call now to set up a consultation and get started with your case.