Who Will Hear A Civil Litigation Case in Nevada?
The civil justice system in the United States allows individuals and companies to take private legal actions against other people, organizations and government entities. Civil litigation is distinct from criminal litigation. While a criminal case involves a prosecutor seeking penalties for crimes committed against the people, a civil case involves a private plaintiff seeking some type of legal remedy from a defendant who has breached a legal duty and caused damages. Many different types of wrongs can give rise to civil litigation, from car accidents caused by careless drivers to contract breaches to injuries caused by defective or dangerous products.
When you have a civil litigation case in Nevada, it is important to understand where to make your claim and who will decide its outcome. An experienced Las Vegas litigation lawyer at Pintar Albiston LLP will help you to understand your options for taking legal action and help you to make informed choices about where to file your lawsuit. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more.
Who Will Hear a Civil Litigation Case in Nevada?
Many civil lawsuits are resolved outside of court through negotiated settlements or through alternative dispute resolution. In a huge number of business contracts that a consumer enters into, there are arbitration clauses that limit the ability to file a lawsuit. If an arbitration clause exists within a contract, then the parties must submit their disagreement to binding arbitration and the arbitrator will decide the outcome.
If a case does not settle and is not resolved through arbitration or mediation, then it will end up in civil court. A civil litigation case in Nevada could sometimes end up in state court and could sometimes end up in federal court.
Most laws regulating individuals and businesses are passed on the state level. If your claim arises out of any state laws, then you will generally need to file your lawsuit in a local state court. Contract laws, family laws and tort laws are all largely state laws, although there are some federal regulations that may apply in certain circumstances. This means if you are getting a divorce, if you are adopting a child, if you are hurt in a car accident, if a company releases a dangerous product or doesn’t honor a warranty, or if a breach of contract occurs, you will need to file a claim in state court.
There are some federal laws that apply to individuals and businesses in Nevada as well. For example, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is a federal law that protects Nevada employees from discrimination. If your case arises out of federal law or raises a federal question, you may be able to file your claim in either state or federal court depending upon the circumstances. There are a very limited types of cases that can only be heard in federal court, like bankruptcy cases and tax law cases. For almost any other disputes hinging on federal law, concurrent jurisdiction exists and a plaintiff and defendant will have a choice about who will hear their case. A plaintiff can file in either state or federal court. If the case is filed in state court, the defendant can request to have it removed to federal court.
A case can also be heard in federal court if there is diversity jurisdiction. This means that the amount in controversy is $75,000 or more and the parties are form different states.
An experienced Las Vegas, NV litigation lawyer will help you determine who will hear your civil litigation case in Nevada. Call today to schedule a consultation with Pintar Albiston LLP to learn more.