Civil Litigation Attorney in Mississippi

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 What Is a Mississippi Civil Litigation Attorney?

In the state of Mississippi, a civil litigation attorney is an attorney who practices state and federal civil laws in the civil court system. Civil law refers to the set of state and federal laws that address the non-criminal behaviors of one party that result in some injury or harm to another individual or other private party or a dispute between private parties.

In general, most civil law cases in Mississippi are cases that involve a tort. Although the exact definition of what is considered to be a tort varies by state, According to Mississippi law, A tort case arises when one party suffers harm or damage due to the wrongful conduct of another party.

It is important to note that if a tort is committed, Mississippi law grants the victim of the tortious act the legal right to civilly sue the person who allegedly harmed them. This right to sue is known as a “cause of action.”

Examples of the most common types of tort cases heard in Mississippi civil courts that pertain to civil laws include:

  • Cases involving the negligent actions of another person, such as motor vehicle accidents or premises liability matters;
  • Cases involving the actions of another person meant to defraud that person;
  • Cases involving harming property, such as property destruction matters;
  • Cases involving intentional physical torts such as civil battery or assault;
  • Cases involving intentional property torts such as conversion or other theft crimes;
  • Cases involving emotional torts, such as defamation, libel, slander, and/or an invasion of privacy.

In addition to the above tort cases, the other major types of cases that make up a significant portion of Mississippi’s civil court’s caseload are family law cases. Examples of family law matters that are heard by Mississippi civil courts include issues surrounding:

  • Visitation and custody of children;
  • Spousal maintenance or alimony;
  • Child support matters;
  • Guardianship of a minor or adult with a disability;
  • The loss of parental rights;
  • Paternity and adoption matters;
  • Child abuse and child neglect matters.

When to Hire a Civil Litigation Attorney?

It is generally advised to consult and hire an attorney as early as possible. This is especially true if you believe that your case will necessitate a lawsuit. Because there are many deadlines involved in civil litigation matters, hiring an attorney at the beginning of the case can prevent legal issues from arising later on.

A local Mississippi lawyer will be most familiar with Mississippi’s civil laws and statutes, as well as the entire civil procedure process discussed above. As such, an attorney will be able to advise you of your best course of legal action.

Further, if your civil matter is a family matter, an attorney will be familiar with the laws and civil process involved in pursuing those matters as well. It is especially recommended to consult and hire an attorney if your case involves a child, as an attorney is recommended to ensure that your parental rights are protected.

What to Expect from Your Civil Law Attorney?

As far as what you can expect from your civil law attorney, you should expect your attorney to be able to assist throughout all stages of your case. In general, a lawsuit will have the following phases in which an attorney can assist you:

  • Pre-lawsuit Phase: During this phase, your attorney will meet with you to get an understanding of the issues and facts of your case.
    • Should you choose to hire the attorney, your attorney will then attempt to resolve your case without the necessity of filing a lawsuit, such as by sending a demand letter;
    • If your attorney is unable to resolve your case without filing a lawsuit, they will then draft the necessary lawsuit and properly serve it on the defendant;
  • Pre-trial Phase: After a lawsuit has been filed and served, your attorney will then assist you in conducting discovery.
    • Discovery is the formal process by which one party will serve requests upon the other party or parties involved in the lawsuit to gather information to support their civil claims;
    • Your attorney will also be able to represent you at any in-person proceedings prior to a final trial, such as handling pre-trial hearings;
  • Trial Phase: If your case is not settled prior to trial, then your civil litigation lawyer will be able to represent you in court in front of the judge or jury by presenting your case, including:
    • Arguing your legal claims;
    • Questioning witnesses; and
    • Introducing the evidence gathered in the previous stage of the lawsuit;
  • Post-trial Phase: After your case has been concluded, an attorney can help you collect damages, disburse funds to pay medical bills, or file an appeal if needed.

In addition to the above, the main thing that you should expect of a civil attorney is that they will keep you well informed of your case. This means that you should always expect your civil attorney to provide you with regular billing statements, inform you of all of your settlement options, and, most importantly, inform you of the current status of your case.

How Much Does a Civil Attorney Cost?

As far as the total cost of a civil attorney, the cost of civil suit lawyers varies widely based on the facts and circumstances of your specific case. All of the following factors may influence the total cost of your civil attorney:

  • The area of law that the attorney practices;
  • Whether or not the attorney employs support staff for the day-to-day management of your case;
  • The areas of law that the plaintiff’s individual claim encompasses;
  • The attorney’s level of experience, such as whether or not they are bar-certified;
  • The attorney’s reputation in the industry;
  • The difficulty of the case;
  • The location in which the attorney practices, as different cities have different cost averages
    • For instance, attorneys who practice in Jackson may have different rates from smaller cities;
  • The total amount of time that is spent either pursuing or defending the lawsuit.

In general, the most important factor in calculating the total cost of a civil attorney is the amount of time that it will take your attorney to finish the case. This is because, in most civil lawsuits, an hourly fee agreement will be used.

In an hourly fee agreement, an attorney agrees to take a client’s case based on the client paying the attorney an hourly rate for work performed on their case. Most often your attorney will require an upfront retainer to be paid before they begin work on the case.

A retainer is an initial payment or deposit that is made by you to secure the services of the attorney. The attorney will then complete the work and then bill against that retainer. For example, an attorney may require an upfront retainer of $5,000.

The attorney will then work the case, such as filing discovery to gather evidence, drafting motions, drafting pleadings, taking depositions of key witnesses, and attending hearings. Then, if the attorney’s hourly fee is $250 per hour, then the retainer would be depleted after 20 hours of work on the case.

As such, you would have to replenish the retainer before it has been depleted. As such, this means that the most important factor in determining the total cost of a civil attorney is the amount of time needed to finish the case. Other costs may also impact the total cost, such as court filing fees, process server fees, and mailing fees.

Do You Need a Civil Attorney?

As can be seen, there is a wide range of lawsuits that involve civil law. In order to be successful in a civil lawsuit, you must have a thorough understanding of case law, civil law, and civil procedure.

As such, if you are involved in a civil lawsuit in Mississippi or are seeking to file a lawsuit as a result of a legal issue that you are facing, then it is in your best interests to consult with an experienced civil litigation attorney in Mississippi as soon as possible.

An experienced civil litigation attorney will be able to help you determine the laws that apply to your specific legal issues, as well as help you determine your best course of legal action. An attorney can also answer any questions that you may have regarding your case. LegalMatch’s services can assist you in locating an attorney and setting up a consultation with them.

Once again, an experienced attorney will be knowledgeable about Mississippi’s civil laws and civil procedure. This means that the attorney will be able to represent you throughout the entire legal process, which was discussed above. Finally, an attorney will also be able to represent your interests in court, as needed.

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