Civil Litigation Procedures And Criminal Litigation

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The differences between civil litigation procedures and criminal litigation procedures vary significantly from beginning to end; they vary in the initial pretrial proceedings, the actual trail proceedings, and the post trial proceedings or sentencing.

Pretrial is where the differences between civil cases and criminal cases are most apparent. In the initial preparatory stage for a civil case, a party is usually seeking monetary reimbursements or equitable relief for alleged wrong done by another person or party. The proceedings in a civil case begin with the injured party, the plaintiff, seeking out an attorney. If an attorney accepts the case the client and law firm first draw up a retainer agreement, second begin gathering information and facts to help aid their case, and third begin a correspondence with the defendant called “demand letters” in which they formally inform the defendant of the charges. If the defendant refuses to offer the requested reimbursement for damages, or, if the plaintiff is unhappy with the defendant’s proposals, the two parties prepare for trial. At this point in the proceedings jurisdiction and venue are decided. A pretrial discovery period ensues where more facts are gathered, and written and oral depositions are gathered. To shorten the actual trial, both attorneys meet privately in presence of a judge in a pretrial conference to agree on stipulations and common ground. Often, this meeting results in an actual settlement of the case.
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