General Civil Litigation

Civil litigation pretty much covers any court actions that are not criminal. To narrow that down a little, James focuses this part of his law practice on helping small businesses and individuals with contract disputes, drafting sales agreements, real property transactions, and a host of other issues that arise between parties in business or in life in general. It could be a suit for defamation, assault, insurance coverage, or infringement on a patent.

In a civil case, one party brings a lawsuit against another alleging liability (blame) and typically requesting damages. A civil litigator will represent his or her client in trials, hearings, arbitration, and mediation, before administrative agencies, foreign tribunals, as well as federal, state, and municipal courts.

Civil litigation typically is broken down into several stages: investigation, pleadings, discovery, pre-trial, trial, settlement, and appeal. Every lawsuit spends different amounts of time in each stage of litigation.


Although everyone knows about the trial, the most high-profile and glamorized part of the civil lawsuit process, most civil claims are resolved well before trial. In some situations, this can be even before a lawsuit is even filed through a settlement between the parties and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes like arbitration and mediation.

Because most cases are settled, you will want a strong negotiator to work with the other side to ensure your claim is deftly handled to arrive at the best possible outcome for you.


Negotiation means settling disputes with compromise or agreement—and avoiding argument and the trial process. James knows that professionalism, fairness, and finding a win-win or mutually beneficial arrangement are critical elements in a successful outcome.

Please contact James to discuss your questions about civil litigation and settlements to see how he can best help you. Please call (408) 755-9793 or email