Civil Litigation Attorney in Vermont

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 What Is a Vermont Civil Litigation Attorney?

There are two branches of laws in the United States: civil law and criminal law. A Vermont civil litigation attorney refers to an attorney who practices civil law in state and federal civil court. Civil law refers to the set of laws that address behaviors of one private party that cause injury or harm to another person or other private party.

Civil laws also deal with other matters, such as estate planning, guardianship, family law, probate, and other civil disputes involving two or more parties. It is important to note that most civil law cases that are heard in Vermont civil courts are either tort cases or family law cases.

Although the exact definition of tort varies by state, Vermont law defines a tort as a civil violation that results in injuries, harm, or loss to a person or private party. Tort violations may occur either due to an intentional or negligent action or inaction of a party.

If a tort is committed to a Vermont resident, Vermont law grants the victim the legal right to civilly sue the person who harmed them. This right to sue is known as a “cause of action.” Examples of common types of cases heard in Vermont civil court that pertain to civil laws include:

  • Cases involving the negligent actions of another person, such as a motor vehicle accident;
  • Cases involving fraud;
  • Cases involving actions that result in property damage, such as intentionally harming property;
  • Cases involving intentional physical torts, such as civil assault;
  • Cases involving theft, such as conversion or other theft crimes;
  • Cases involving emotional torts, such as defamation, libel, slander, and/or an invasion of privacy.

As mentioned above, the other major types of cases that make up a significant portion of Vermont’s civil court caseload are family law matters. Examples of common family law matters heard in Vermont include:

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

When to Hire a Civil Litigation Attorney?

It is generally recommended that you consult an attorney as early as possible in your case. Consulting with an attorney early on can prevent other legal issues from arising later on. In turn, this could save you time and money.

A local Vermont lawyer will be most familiar with Vermont’s civil laws and statutes, as well as the entire civil procedure process involved in pursuing a civil lawsuit. An attorney will also be able to ensure that you meet all civil deadlines, such as meeting the statutes of limitations. Statutes of limitations are essentially deadlines that you must meet in order to ensure your civil lawsuit is allowed to be filed.

What to Expect from Your Civil Law Attorney?

As far as what you can expect from your civil law attorney, you should always expect your attorney to keep you informed of your case. This means that you should always expect your civil attorney to inform you of all of your settlement options and possible case resolutions, provide you with regular billing statements, and keep you informed regarding the current status of your case.

In fact, attorneys are obligated to keep their clients informed of their cases. You should also expect your attorney to be able to assist you in handling all of the major aspects of your civil lawsuit. The exact aspects of your case will be dependent on the type of lawsuit that you are involved in.

There are essentially four stages to almost every civil lawsuit in Vermont in which an attorney can assist you:

  • Pre-lawsuit Phase: During this stage, an attorney will meet with you at a consultation in order to understand the facts and issues of your case.
    • If hired, your attorney will then likely attempt to negotiate a resolution to your case without filing a lawsuit, such as by sending a demand letter.
    • If your attorney is unable to resolve your case without a lawsuit, your attorney will then assist you in drafting the necessary lawsuit and properly serve it on the defendant;
  • Pre-trial Phase: After your lawsuit has been filed and served, your attorney may then assist you in conducting discovery, which 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 your civil claims.
    • An attorney will also be able to represent you at any in-person proceedings prior to a final trial, such as representing you at 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 evidence and arguing your claims;
  • Post-trial Phase: After your case has been concluded, your attorney may still be involved in your case, such as if they are needed to collect and disburse funds that were recovered or file an appeal.

How Much Does a Civil Attorney Cost?

As far as how much your civil attorney will cost, the total cost of civil suit lawyers will vary widely. This is because the costs for a civil attorney will be dependent upon a number of different factors, including:

  • The area of law in the attorney practices;
  • Other expenses, such as filing fees, expert witness fees, mailing fees, support staff fees, etc.;
  • The areas of law that your individual claim encompasses;
  • The attorney’s level of experience, including whether or not they are bar certified, as well as their reputation in the industry;
  • The difficulty of your case;
  • The location in which the attorney practices, as different cities have different cost averages
    • For instance, attorneys that practice in Burlington may charge different rates due to the expenses of that city and the higher population;
  • The total amount of time that is spent either pursuing or defending your lawsuit.

The most important factor used in calculating the total cost of a civil attorney is obviously the amount of time that it will take the attorney to finish your case. This is because, in civil lawsuits, most contracts executed between clients and the attorney are hourly fee contracts. This means the more time spent on your case, the more hourly charges an attorney will make.

Do You Need a Civil Attorney?

If you are involved in a civil lawsuit in Vermont, or if you are thinking of filing 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 Vermont as early as possible in your case.

An experienced civil litigation attorney will be able to help you determine your best course of legal action, as well as answer any questions that you may have regarding your particular case. LegalMatch can assist you in locating a Vermont civil attorney for your particular legal issues, as well as help you set up an initial consultation with them.

An attorney will also be knowledgeable about Vermont’s civil laws and civil procedure. This means that your attorney will be able to represent you throughout the entire legal process, should you choose to hire them to represent you. Finally, an attorney will also be able to represent your interests in court, as needed.

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