Legal-Ease: Fighting fair with the law

When a couple fights, they’re encouraged to fight fair. Meaning, only topics related to the current discussion should be brought up in the context of a fight. The same words can be used in the context of legal arguments and negotiations. 

There are three frequent situations in civil legal disputes where parties may not fight fair. 

Legal-Ease: He did it, and he did not do it

As O.J. Simpson has recently been in the news, some may have been wondering how he was found “not guilty” in his criminal trial but “liable” in a civil trial. 

The question can be answered by looking at the standard that has to be met to “win” a court case. The standard that applies to define winning a court case is called the “burden of proof.” The burden of proof was different in O.J. Simpson’s criminal case than from his civil case. 

Legal-Ease: Routes to recovery: Torts and contracts

Anyone can sue anyone else at any time, but that doesn’t mean that the lawsuit will be successful. The rights to recover money in civil lawsuits break into the categories of torts and contracts. 

If someone is injured, the person who caused the harm may have committed a tort. The other category of civil lawsuits is contracts, which is a mutual relationship among multiple people who have responsibilities to each other. 

Legal-Ease: Lawsuits often involve work after the case is closed

Lawsuits between people or businesses are referred to as “civil” lawsuits. Civil lawsuits normally include two requests from the plaintiff. First, the plaintiff wants the court to determine that the defendant made a mistake. Second, the plaintiff wants the court to define what the defendant owes the plaintiff to fix the harm caused.

Legal-Ease: Mothers-in-law are mothers, too

Legal disputes between in-laws are unfortunate, but can occur – and if the dispute makes it all the way to the courthouse, odds are that there will ultimately be no winners. But making end-of-life care and other important life decisions in writing now can make things smoother later in life.

Legal-Ease: Judge or jury?

Depending on the charges being argued, court cases are either determined in front of a judge or a jury. While people accused of crimes against society are nearly always entitled to a jury trial, not all decisions are made by juries – judges have a lot of leeway in determining what evidence can be admitted, the interpretation of written documents, and other important decisions.

Legal-Ease: Courts won’t decide internal church issues

The legal system has a very limited relationship when it comes to religious organizations, especially when it comes to their internal processes. For “connective” churches, courts will generally not decide disputes regarding local church government, order, discipline, membership or authority.