Facts - Books - News U.S. Facts Of Law:
Civil Law and Common Law
Civil law relates to the law as it applies to
disputes between individuals, corporations or other
legal entities. Common law is the "filling in
of the gaps" of written law by a court or jury with
their belief of what is commonly thought of as right
by the community when adjudicating a dispute between
parties. After a judge or jury makes a common
law ruling, that ruling can be used as a reference
as to how to settle future, similar cases.
This is often referred to as "case law".
In a civil court, charges are brought by one or
more parties against one or more other parties.
After a period of "discovery" where both parties
discover and share the facts concerning the charges,
the dispute goes to trial either before a judge or a
jury. The facts are then presented by both
sides and the judge or jury determines if there is
fault and what the remedy shall be. More often
than not, the remedy in a civil trial is a monetary
Unlike a criminal trial, either party to a civil
trail may appeal the decision to a higher court.
Depending upon the basis for the appeal, the
appellate court may or may not decide to review the
Civil Law and Common Law
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