When individuals are involved in a dispute that isn’t criminal, they may need help from an experienced Virginia civil litigation attorney. This could be in order to seek monetary compensation, or in the case of a landlord/tenant issue, the enforcement of a lease agreement.
A lawyer selected through Super Lawyers’ patented research process could provide dedicated legal guidance to those facing a civil matter. This includes disputes that involve insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits. Learn more.
Statute of Limitations
A civil statute of limitations is a law that establishes a maximum time limit within which a lawsuit may be filed to pursue a specific type of legal action. The legislature imposes these limits to ensure that important legal rights are not delayed far into the future and become stale or impossible to enforce.
The laws that define a statute of limitations vary from state to state. For example, in Virginia, you have two years to file a personal injury claim arising out of an accident. But, there is also a different set of rules for medical negligence claims based on foreign objects left in the body and those alleging fraud and concealment. Additionally, there are a number of other exceptions to the standard statute of limitations such as for minors and those of unsound mind.
A qualified attorney could help you to understand the statutes of limitations that apply to your case and how they relate to other laws such as consumer protection or antitrust laws. Lawyers with experience in civil litigation could also explain the various exceptions and circumstances in which a statute of limitations can be tolled. They could also review the evidence and documents in your case to see if a statute of limitations defense could be used to dismiss the lawsuit.
A trial is a crucial part of any case, as it can help your attorney make a strong argument for why you deserve a favorable result. Whether you are a plaintiff or defendant in a civil case, it is important to have a skilled lawyer in your corner to protect your rights and interests throughout the process.
Under Virginia law, trial courts have sole discretion to allow or prohibit audio/video and still photography coverage of both civil and criminal proceedings in the courtroom. However, the court must base its decision on a “defensible abuse of discretion” standard and may not limit access without good cause.
While no judge likes to be interrupted or disrupted, a discourteous approach to the request for access can preclude accommodations that are otherwise warranted under the First Amendment. Whenever possible, third-party intervenors should communicate with the litigants and seek to unambiguously identify the access sought, rather than entering into a full-blown adversarial contest.
If you lose the case at trial, your Virginia civil lawyer could advise you on how to appeal the verdict in Circuit Court. If you are a criminal defendant, you will also have the option to try your case de novo in Superior Court. This allows you to have your case heard by a new jury and potentially receive a different outcome than your original guilty verdict.
When a legal dispute between two parties escalates and is no longer amenable to an out-of-court settlement, both sides would need to present evidence to a judge or jury in a courtroom. A Virginia civil litigation lawyer could assist you with determining whether it is possible to reach an out-of-court settlement or how to prepare for a trial.
There are several different types of courts in Virginia, including General District Court and Circuit Court. When filing a case in General District Court, the plaintiff or defendant can choose to have the case heard by a judge alone or with a jury. In a criminal case, the person who files the suit is called the prosecutor. The prosecutor is the representative for the state government and can be a deputy attorney general, county attorney or district attorney.
Aside from preparing for a trial, lawyers may file pretrial motions, which ask the judge to make decisions before a trial is held. For example, a motion for summary judgment can ask the judge to decide some or all of the issues in the case based on information presented by each side in briefs. If a motion is denied, a hearing will be scheduled. This system allows attorneys and their designated staff to open a case and file documents electronically in circuit courts throughout the state.