650 Poydras Street, Suite 2700
New Orleans, LA 70130-6180


Send a message

Civil Law

Civil law specifically deals with private disputes between individuals or organizations, as opposed to crimes prosecuted by the state (covered by criminal law). It focuses on resolving conflicts, settling debts, and ensuring fair compensation for wronged parties. Here’s a breakdown of its key functions:

Primary Concerns:

  • Rights and Duties: Defines the legal rights and duties individuals and organizations hold towards each other. This includes ownership rights, contractual obligations, and personal conduct limitations.
  • Dispute Resolution: Provides mechanisms for resolving disagreements between parties, like negotiation, mediation, and ultimately, litigation within the court system.
  • Compensation: Aims to award appropriate compensation to parties who have suffered harm due to another’s actions or negligence. This can involve financial compensation, property restoration, or even specific performance of a contractual obligation.

Important Sub-branches:

  • Contract Law: Governs agreements and promises made between parties,ensuring their enforceability and outlining remedies for breaches.
  • Tort Law: Deals with civil wrongs and compensates individuals for harm caused by another’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions.
  • Property Law: Defines ownership rights to land, buildings, and other possessions,regulating their use, transfer, and inheritance.
  • Family Law: Addresses legal issues related to marriage, divorce, child custody,adoption, and other family matters.

Compared to Criminal Law:

  • Focus: Civil law focuses on restoring the injured party to their prior state and settling private disputes. Criminal law aims to punish offenders and protect society from harmful actions.
  • Burden of Proof: In civil cases, the plaintiff must prove their claim by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). In criminal cases, the prosecution has a higher burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Outcomes: Civil cases typically result in monetary awards or specific performances, while criminal cases impose punishments like fines, imprisonment,or probation.