Civil Litigation

Author: Andrew Lavoott Bluestone
Date: October 4, 2013

Civil litigation encompasses a broad swath of attorneys who prepare and prosecute law suits in court over any tort, contract or special proceeding. We often think of personal injury, of worker’s compensation, of business law suits, of employment discrimination and many other varieties of cases in which a law suit is necessary to protect rights of clients, on either the plaintiff or the defense side. Personal injury can take place in motor vehicles, at work, on construction sites, on the public streets, in homes. Anytime a person is injured, the possibility exists that the injury was cause by the negligence of others. Personal injury may include the trip and fall, the auto accident, the product liability such as a dangerous machine, a badly designed product, a drug that hurts people, asbestos, dangerous toxic materials, mold, badly constructed buildings and dangerous premises.

There are more possible places for a person to be injured than one might think of. Because so many of us use cars regularly, there is a strong possibility for a motor vehicle accident. In New York no-fault rules set up categories of injuries that may be sued for, and injuries that may not be sued for. If you have been injured by the negligence of others in the operation of a motor vehicle, you should immediately seek legal counsel. They can help with no-fault payments for medical costs and for salary re-imbursement.

Premises and sidewalk trip and falls are a frequent source of litigation. Most cities have rules as to who is responsible for maintaining a building or a sidewalk. Professional help is often necessary to determine who may be responsible for a defect in the sidewalk, or in a stairway or in a hallway where people are injured. Another type of slip and fall case takes place during snow storms, or other dangerous inclement weather. In these situations there are very strict rules concerning who is responsible.

A person who has been injured should very quickly seek legal help from a qualified attorney. One reason is the statute of limitations which can be as short as 90 days. Another reason will be the need to preserve and find evidence before it is lost. Transient conditions, and areas that are fixed after an accident need to be documented as soon as possible.

Law and litigation is roughly broken up into Criminal litigation, Civil Litigation and Transactional Work. Criminal litigation is pretty easy to understand, involving criminal defense. While prosecutors are involved in criminal litigation, they are traditionally excluded from the definition. Attorneys who represent persons arrested will be known as Criminal Defense Attorneys. We do not work in this area.

Transactional work includes attorneys who negotiate contracts such as employment contracts, do home sales contracts, do general business work in sales, purchases, transportation, association membership, work in patent filings, real estate deals, mergers & acquisitions, governmental filings, oversight work and areas like that. They traditionally do not go to court to argue, nor do they start law suits. We do not work in this area.

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