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Civil Litigation

Ocean City Civil Litigation Lawyer

People often ask what civil litigation means.

Civil litigation is a lawsuit filed by one party (the plaintiff) against one or more other parties (the defendants) in civil court instead of criminal court. Criminal cases involve the government bringing charges against an individual for violating a criminal law to punish the defendant. In contrast, civil cases consist of two or more private parties in dispute, with one party seeking relief from the other(s) for some harm or injury suffered. 

In civil litigation, specific rules of procedure must be followed, including discovery procedures and trials in both district and circuit courts. Along the way, all civil cases involve some form of alternative dispute resolution through mediation or a court-ordered settlement conference.

If you are involved in a civil dispute, you can turn to my firm, the Law Office of Steven W. Rakow, LLC. I have decades of experience that can be applied to preparing, negotiating, or litigating your case in civil court. I represent clients in Worcester, Wicomico, Salisbury, Dorchester, Caroline, Talbot, and Somerset counties. 

Arrange for a free 20-minute consultation with Worcester County civil litigation attorney Steve Rakow by contacting the firm at (443) 856-6376.

Steve Has Experience You Can Trust

Hear From Satisfied Clients

    "It was the best decision I ever made to get his professional help for my case. He is extremely professional, knowledgeable and always in control of the situation."

    Look no further, if you want the best service and best possible outcome for your case! I would give 10 stars, if I could!! It ...

    Ankur V.
    "Steve is easy to talk with and is genuine in his concern to assist you. He explains the situation and your options for proceeding in a manner that is easy to understand."

    I highly recommend using Steve Rakow for your legal needs. He is knowledgeable, promptly responsive and uses a hands on ...

    Former Client
    "Grateful for Steve's help and would highly recommend him!"

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    Former Client
    "Steve is very personable and easy to talk to. He is very knowledgeable and explains everything clearly and prepares you for what to expect."

    Highly recommend Steve as a lawyer for any criminal offenses. Steve is very personable and easy to talk to. He is very ...

    Kelsey M.
    "I have retained Steve twice now and each time he has guided me through the legal process with favorable outcomes."

    I have retained Steve twice now and each time he has guided me through the legal process with favorable outcomes. I highly ...

    Jordan R.
    "I was a bit nervous dealing with the courts for the first time but, he was a calming factor through the process and helped settle the nerves. Highly recommend!"

    Steve Rakow was wonderful. He was very easy to talk with, answered any questions and explained things very clearly. I was a ...

    Valerie K.
    "I also was pleased that he stayed in contact personally with me throughout each step of the case unlike with some firms where you talk to the secretary more then the attorney."

    I would recommend Steve Rakow for any and all litigations criminal or civil. He did an absolute amazing job fighting for me ...

    William C.
    "He was efficient and understood the stress we were under to bring it to a close. We certainly would recommend him to represent anyone going through a legal problem."

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    "His prompt responsiveness, thorough attention to detail and preparedness contributed to a positive outcome."

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Understanding Civil Litigation in Maryland

The standard of proof in nearly all civil cases is a preponderance of evidence – meaning that the claim that prevails is more likely than not the valid version of the disputed events that occurred. This contrasts with “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the higher standard of proof in criminal cases. Some civil cases have a clear and convincing standard of proof, but those are few, and your attorney can explain to you which types of actions require that level of proof.

The consequences in civil cases also differ from those in criminal law. In a criminal case, if the defendant is found guilty, they may face incarceration, fines, probation, or other forms of punishment. 

In civil litigation, the case’s outcome is usually a monetary award, some other form of compensation, or an injunction. Injunctions are court orders that require a party to either cease some action or do something specific, called “specific performance.” An example of specific performance would be ordering a party to fulfill their contractual obligations.

My Civil Litigation Services

At the Law Office of Steven W. Rakow, LLC, I handle the civil litigation involving the following matters:

  • Breach of Contract Disputes – both plaintiff and defense. This type of civil litigation involves disputes between parties who have entered into a contract, where one party alleges that the other party has failed to fulfill their contractual obligations. The plaintiff seeks damages for the breach, while the defendant defends against the allegations.
  • Builder/Contractor Disputes with Property Owners – both plaintiff and defense. This type of litigation involves disputes between builders/contractors and property owners, where one party alleges that the other has breached the terms of the construction contract. The plaintiff may seek damages for construction defects or delays, while the defendant may defend against the allegations.
  • Commercial Landlord/Tenant Litigation for Landlords. This type of litigation involves disputes between commercial landlords and tenants, where the landlord seeks to enforce the terms of the lease agreement, such as rent payments or maintenance obligations. In this case, the landlord is the plaintiff, and the tenant is the defendant.
  • Government Civil Forfeiture Cases. Civil forfeiture cases involve the government seizing property suspected of being involved in illegal activity. This type of litigation is different from criminal forfeiture, as the property itself, rather than an individual, is the subject of the case.
  • Homeowners Association Legal Disputes. This type of litigation involves disputes between homeowners and their homeowners association (HOA), where the homeowner alleges that the HOA has not fulfilled its duties or has violated the homeowners’ rights. The plaintiff is the homeowner, while the defendant is the HOA.
  • Condominium Owner Legal Matters. This type of litigation involves disputes between condominium owners and the condominium association, similar to homeowners association matters. The plaintiff is the condo owner, while the defendant is the condo association.
  • Peace and Protective Order Hearings in Maryland. Peace order and protective order hearings involve requests for legal protection from harassment, abuse, or threats. The plaintiff seeks a protective order against the defendant, who may defend against the allegations.

Other practice areas in civil cases include basic corporate matters, contract review, and general practice matters. 

If you are seeking legal advice, guidance, or representation in any of the above, please contact my firm to discuss your needs. I offer office, phone, and virtual consultations for your convenience.

Call (443) 856-6376 to get started today.