Adversarial Legal System Lawyers

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What Is an Adversarial Legal System?

The adversarial legal system is one type of commonly used legal system. In an adversarial system, a lawyer or advocate represents each party, or adversary. Each party presents his or her side to an impartial party. The impartial party then determines the outcome of the case based on the information presented by each adversary.

What Other Legal Systems Exist?

Another commonly used system is the inquisitorial system. Under this system, there is a panel of individuals or a judge that is entrusted with investigating the civil or criminal conflict. After an investigation, the panel or judge determines the verdict. This system is most widely used by civil law systems, although is used in some instances by common law countries for certain purposes. For example, jurisdictions in the United States use an inquisitorial system for traffic violations.

How Does the United States’ System Differ from the European System?

Hiring an Attorney

Since the United States system is adversarial, the importance of a good civil or criminal attorney cannot be overemphasized. A talented lawyer can persuade jurors that her legal argument represents the correct position.

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Last Modified: 04-07-2014 03:46 PM PDT

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