Types of Civil Law Covered in Our Civil Justice Podcast

December 21, 2023by See You In Court

Civil law is a cornerstone of our legal system, playing a pivotal role in upholding individual rights, resolving disputes, and governing various aspects of our lives. See You In Court, a law podcast series that seeks to educate the public about the civil justice system in Georgia, discusses the different types of civil law we may cover in our podcast series.

What is Civil Law?

The textbook definition of civil law states that it is the set of legal principles that regulate everyday private affairs, distinct from regulations about criminal, military, or political affairs. It is the legal framework that oversees private or civil rights, aiming to provide compensation to individuals or entities who have suffered harm, rather than primarily punishing the wrongdoer.

Within the United States, civil law can hold a couple of distinct interpretations. In most regions across the U.S., civil law is often used interchangeably with “common law” or “judge-made law,” where past court decisions serve as a foundation for resolving current cases. The guiding principle is “Stare Decisis,” signifying that the result of a legal dispute depends on the precedents set by prior cases with similar circumstances.

Types of Civil Law

Below are a few types of civil law we cover in our civil law podcast series:

Property Law

Property law encompasses the regulation of both personal and real property. Personal property includes tangible assets like jewelry, animals, and merchandise, as well as intangible assets like patents, copyrights, stocks, and bonds. On the other hand, real property pertains to land and permanent structures upon it, which cannot be readily relocated, and encompasses subterranean resources like oil and minerals. Within property law, two categories of legal wrongs are recognized: trespass and conversion.

Contract Law

Contract law pertains to arrangements involving two or more parties, each bound by their respective obligations within the agreement. For instance, consider two parties entering into a lease agreement for an apartment. The lessor gains the right to utilize the apartment, while the landlord receives rent as compensation. Should either party breach any terms of the contract, they are held accountable for a legal offense referred to as a “breach of contract.”

Tort Law

Tort law, within the realm of civil law, focuses on matters involving personal injury and civil misconduct. These torts can be categorized into three groups: negligence, intentional tort, and strict liability. A tort signifies a civil offense committed by an individual or entity against another, leading to harm or property damage, often requiring financial restitution to the injured party.

Employment Law

Employment law is a broad area that governs the rights and responsibilities between employers and employees. It encompasses a variety of issues, including but not limited to workplace discrimination, employee benefits, labor relations, and wage and hour laws. This field of law sets the standards for fair practices in hiring, remuneration, safe working conditions, and the appropriate handling of workplace disputes.

Appellate Law

Appellate law encompasses the legal principles and practices that govern the review of trial court decisions by a higher court. When a party is dissatisfied with the outcome of a trial, they may appeal to a higher court to review the decision. The appellate court examines the record of the lower court proceedings to determine if there were any legal errors that could have affected the outcome of the case.

Consumer Law

Consumer law is designed to protect consumers from unfair business practices, ensure access to accurate information in the marketplace, and provide remedies for fraud or breaches of warranty. It covers a range of topics including product safety, false advertising, privacy rights, and consumer credit transactions.

Environmental Law

Environmental law consists of regulations and statutory requirements that govern how individuals and companies interact with the natural environment. Its aim is to minimize pollution, protect natural resources, ensure public health and safety, and maintain a balance between economic interests and conservation efforts.

Family Law

Family law pertains to the field of civil law addressing matters like marriage, divorce, annulment, child custody, adoption, childbirth, child support, and various other familial issues. More contemporary areas encompassed by family law encompass topics like same-sex marriage, artificial conception, surrogate motherhood, in vitro fertilization, and palimony.

Probate and Estate Law

Probate and Estate Law deals with the management and settlement of an individual’s assets and liabilities after death. This area of law includes validating wills, facilitating the distribution of assets to beneficiaries, and navigating the complexities of estate and inheritance taxes.

Landlord-Tenant Law

Landlord-Tenant Law regulates the relationships between property owners and their renters, encompassing lease agreements, tenant rights, rental conditions, and eviction procedures. It seeks to balance the interests of both parties while ensuring habitable living conditions and fair rental practices.

Civil Rights Law

Civil Rights Law is dedicated to protecting individuals from discrimination and ensuring equal treatment under the law, regardless of race, religion, gender, or other characteristics. It addresses issues such as voting rights, equal employment opportunities, and access to public services and accommodations.

Tune in to Our Civil Law Podcast Today!

Do you want to learn more about the Georgia civil justice system? Tune in to our “See You In Court” podcast and educate yourself on the basic functions of civil justice. For more information, get in touch with us today.

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