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Do You Have a Civil Litigation Problem?

Civil litigation is the broad term used to cover the legal issues involved with civil legal disputes, which can end up as lawsuits. If you or your company has a dispute with someone else, seeking the advice of a Bar Harbor civil litigation attorney can save you time and money.

Types of Matters Litigated Civilly

Civil litigation differs from Criminal cases in that it deals with disputes between people that do not involve evaluating a crime. Civil disputes can include business problems, breach of contract, personal injury, and more.

Civil litigation occurs when one party (the plaintiff) initiates a civil lawsuit in court against another party (the defendant). Every State, city and municipality may differ in how they handle certain litigation procedures. The key elements of a civil litigation case include a complaint establishing the harm caused by the defendant, response to the complaint, pleading, discovery, trial and possibly an appeal.

When to Hire a Lawyer

It is in your best interest to get legal help early on in addressing your situation. There are times when hiring a lawyer quickly is critical to your case, such as if you are charged with a crime. It may also be in your best interest to have a lawyer review the fine print before signing legal documents. A lawyer can also help you get the compensation you deserve if you've suffered a serious injury. For issues where money or property is at stake, having a lawyer guide you through the complexities of the legal system can save you time, hassle, and possibly a lot of grief in the long run.

Top Questions to Ask a Lawyer

  • What is the usual process to resolve my case? How long will it take to resolve this?
  • What are likely outcomes of a case like mine? What should I expect?

An experienced lawyer should be able to communicate a basic "road map" on how to proceed. The lawyer should be able to walk you through the anticipated process, key considerations, and potential pitfalls to avoid. Once you've laid out the facts of your situation to the lawyer, he/she should be able to frame expectations and likely scenarios to help you understand your legal issue.

How will an attorney charge me?

A reputable attorney will be very upfront about how he/she will charge you. The three most common fee structures that attorneys use to charge for their services are:

  • Bill by the hour
  • Contingent fee agreement
  • Flat fee agreement

Depending on your specific legal situation, it's possible that only one type of fee structure is available. For instance, criminal defense attorneys almost always bill by the hour. In a flat fee arrangement, an attorney accepts a one-time payment to help you resolve your issue. With a contingent fee agreement, the client pays little to nothing upfront and the attorney receives a percentage of the money recovered if you win your case.

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