About this section
Civil litigation' describes any action in the Court that is not of a criminal nature. All civil litigation must be between two or more parties. An action of civil litigation must be "brought" by one of these parties. This means that one party is making a claim against the other. The party making the claim is knowns as the "plaintiff" and the party who has had the claim made against them is known as the "defendant". The procedure used by Courts can be very complicated: documents created by the parties must follow particular rules, arguments must be made in a particular way, and some information must be shared between the parties. Lawyers who specialize in civil litigation are experts in dealing with these court processes.
Civil litigation includes all manner of disputes, including everything from commercial disputes about contracts, to defamation disputes and negligence actions. It is important to remember that in some areas of law, such as workplace relations and family law, special courts and tribunals exist which are specifically designed to deal with those issues. This means that not all civil litigation occurs according to the normal Court processes. There are different tribunals dealing with different legal matters because it has been recognised that specific expertise and experience is needed to deal with these issues. Specialist tribunals help ensure that the best outcomes are reached in as many cases as possible.
Because of this, and the fact that civil litigation covers such a broad range of disputes, if you have a legal issue which may involve civil litigation, it is important to seek out a lawyer who has the specific expertise you need.