How Does Precedent Affect a Civil Case
Feb 8 2023 0

How Does Precedent Affect a Civil Case?

If you have a legal dispute, it may be the right approach to take action by filing a civil suit. When you file a civil suit, you may be able to come to an agreement and resolution without having to litigate in a California courtroom. This happens in the vast majority of civil cases. On the other hand, if you or the other side are unable to agree to the terms of a settlement, then your case will have a hearing where a judge will listen to the evidence that you and the other side present when thinking through what a resolution should be. After reviewing all information, the judge will consider many things when coming to a final determination of the outcome and a ruling. One would be if another case exists that would serve as a precedent.

When you are ready to file a civil suit against another party or entity, or you are facing a lawsuit, it is helpful to have an attorney on your side who can evaluate your case. Your attorney will look at the entirety of your dispute, including if there is a precedent and the way that could impact you. The Los Angeles civil attorney at the Leiva Law Firm has over two decades of experience helping businesses in California continue to operate efficiently while taking care of all of their legal needs.

Considering Precedent in a Civil Suit

How Does Precedent Affect a Civil CaseA judge will hear both sides of a dispute and examine all of the facts. Then, the judge will think about what laws are relevant that may guide their decision. Additionally, they may also apply precedent to a case. This could happen if another case has already been decided that has similar details to your own. If such a case does exist, there is a good chance that a judge may consider the outcome of that case and how the law was interpreted and applied when they make their ruling on your case.

A trial judge does not have to use precedent to decide a case. When precedent is used, it typically happens because another case mirrors your own.

There are instances where there may be a precedent for a case, but the judge won’t necessarily consider it. The following details situations where precedent may not be used when determining a ruling for a legal dispute:

  • Another case is close to the one before the judge, but it has many outlying elements that are much different.
  • The laws used to decide a case that is similar to the one before the judge have since changed.
  • A case before a judge could be similar to another, but it was decided in a jurisdiction that has laws inconsistent with the laws in the jurisdiction where the current case is being decided.
  • A judge deems a ruling for another case that is close to the one before them incorrect.

Speak with an Attorney at Leiva Law Today

Precedents can, in some situations, influence a judge’s opinion of a case they are hearing. When you meet with your attorney at the Leiva Law Firm, if precedent exists concerning your suit, it will be addressed. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney at the Leiva Law Firm, please call (818) 519-4465.

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