Civil Rights Attorney – Sumter & Columbia, SC
South Carolina Civil Rights Lawyer
Civil rights covers many aspects of law, but at its core is the preface they are legal actions between parties that are not criminally-related. These claims generally arise out of disputes between two or more entities such as people (as individuals and as groups), businesses or companies, and government institutions. If you need legal help with your civil matter, reach out to a South Carolina civil rights lawyer at the Marc Brown Law Firm in Sumter, SC.
What Is Civil Rights?
Civil rights is the process in which civil matters are resolved in a court of law. Because civil rights, in general, is loosely described as any legal case that is “non-criminal”, the result is a rather broad category of law. And as such, the nature of the cases differ from client to client. Our civil litigators handle personal injury claims, injury to crime victims, and civil rights violations.
Areas covered under Civil Rights:
- Civil Rights Violations – Also called Constitutional Law, this area focuses on fighting all violations of legal rights that are protected under the Constitution. They encompass matters such as police misconduct, brutality or excessive force, same-sex and same-sex benefit discrimination, violation of religious liberties, the violation of rights to privacy, voting, fair trial, and the freedom of speech, press, assembly, and movement, among other human rights violations.
- Personal Injury – Personal injury law covers a wide range of accidents or incidents which result in personal loss or losses to the victim. If you have been injured as the result of someone else’s careless or negligent action (or inaction) you have a legal right to seek compensation under the law. Injuries can stem from a number of accidents or situations, but the main areas include product liability, motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, wrongful death, and medical malpractice.
- Business Torts – Business torts, sometimes referred to as “economic torts,” is defined as a wrongful act carried out against a business entity. These wrongful acts are often intentional but can also be as a result of negligence or just pure recklessness. A staple of business civil rights is the aspect that the unlawful conduct that caused (or is likely to cause in the future) some kind of financial loss. Business torts may include breach of contract, dissolution disputes, trade secrets or intellectual property infringements, libel or defamation litigation, fraud, tenant-landlord disputes, and professional negligence or malpractice.
- Employment Law – This area of law deals with disputes regarding wage and hour issues, employment-related discrimination and hostile working environment, family and medical leave discourse, whistleblower and retaliation, sexual harassment, employee classification disagreements, and more.
- Family Law and Bankruptcy – Although, technically, family and bankruptcy law are civil law issues, there are rules and court forms that are specific to them. Family law involves matters such as divorce and annulments, child support and custody, fathers and/or grandparents’ rights, relocation issues, asset or property division, and more. Bankruptcy includes the filing of different “Chapters” of financial hardship and provides for the reduction or elimination of certain debts. It can produce a reorganization, a consolidation, or new terms and timelines for the repayment of existing debts.
How South Carolina Civil Rights Works
In essence, it begins the moment someone decides to enforce or defend their legal rights, and the attorneys that handle this area of law are called “litigators”.
Civil rights claims follow certain steps that are generally divided into stages such as pleadings, discovery, trial, and appeal. These phases are the universal courses of action in lawsuits, but there are others that can, and do, take place within them. Civil lawsuits can be complex and it is advised to seek legal counsel from an experienced civil rights attorney.
The Phases of Civil Rights
The following are the phases of civil rights actions and a brief description of what they entail:
Pleadings – Step One in a Civil Lawsuit
The start of a civil rights proceeding begins with initial paperwork being filed by each side, called “Pleadings”. The plaintiff, or person who is initiating the legal action, files a complaint. This is then delivered to the defendant or defendants. This complaint is meant to describe the reason for the legal claim. It will contain the actions or inactions of the defendant which the plaintiff alleges to have caused their injury or loss.
The defendant (or their representative) then has a specified amount of time to respond to the complaint. This is called an “answer”. In this legal document, the defendant is given the opportunity to respond to the complaint and give essentially their “side of the story”.
Discovery – Step Two
During this step, crucial preparations are made for the case, including each side having the opportunity to ask of (and provide to) each other, more information about the facts and evidence of the case. This might involve information from other third parties, such as witnesses and/or experts. Depositions take place during this step as well.
Trial – Step Three
If a case has not been resolved out of court by way of a pre-trial settlement, the case goes to trial. It is important to know that MANY cases never reach the trial phase. However, if it does, during the trial, both sides, through their attorneys, present evidence to substantiate or defend against the claims alleged in the suit. A jury of the defendant’s peers will be selected through a legal process known as “voir dire”. Opening arguments, the presentation of evidence, and testimony accounts are followed by closing arguments. The jury then, under very strict instruction from the court, will deliberate considering all of the evidence presented by each side. If a guilty verdict is reached, the case will move into the penalty phase, in which the defendant is sentenced.
Appeal – A Final Step
An appeal may be filed by the defendant through legal counsel if they wish to dispute the verdict. A higher court will review the decision along with the evidence and the details of the case and trial. This appellate court can reverse a decision if they see fit or order a new trial.
Court cases can last days, weeks, months, or even years depending on different factors including jurisdiction and venue issues, the jury selection process, continuances, additional motions, and of course, the appeal itself.
Do I Need a Civil Rights Lawyer? – How We Can Help/
If you have been injured or have suffered losses and are considering filing a lawsuit or making a civil claim, you may not know where to begin. Legal claims have specific procedures and paperwork. They are also subject to deadlines called Statutes of Limitations. Don’t try to navigate a suit alone. Let an experienced lawyer guide you through the process. Your attorney will:
- Investigate the accident or incident
- Collect pertinent evidence such as medical documents and police reports
- Interview and/or depose witnesses
- Utilize experts, if needed, to help substantiate your claim and to properly assess your injuries
- File the proper paperwork within the required time limits
- Keep in contact with you regarding the progress of your case
We can help you seek compensation for damages such as medical bills, property repair or replacement, pain and suffering, and lost income, just to name a few.
Reach Out To Civil Rights Attorney Marc Brown Today
At the Marc Brown Law Firm, our compassionate and skilled legal professionals are here to help you put the pieces back together after an injury or loss. Our team understands the laws surrounding civil rights and we are dedicated to getting you justice and maximizing the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at (866) 656-0008 or fill out our convenient online contact form. We offer free confidential consultations.