Civil law tradition refers to the set of laws that is followed in a country such as the United States as a part of its legal system. There are different traditions of law used in different countries; the two most popular traditions are the common law tradition and the civil law tradition. Since each of these differ in some substantial ways, civil trial lawyers in College Station Texas need to be completely familiar with the differences between the two traditions and how they are applied in the American legal system.

Civil Law Versus Common Law

Developed in the Middle Ages, the traditions of common law and civil law use two different approaches to how legal cases are handled:

  • Common Law – Built on the results of past cases and decisions, common law is determined by precedent and by legislative statutes previously applied. There is no official record of exact rules pertaining to how cases should be decided, which makes common law an uncodified legal system. In common law tradition, judges overhear two sides of a case as do a jury of average people; the jury then reaches a verdict and a judge assigns punishment based on the jury verdict.
  • Civil Law – Divided into a number of legal categories, civil trial lawyers in College Station TX advise that civil law tradition is based on a formal collection of rules describing how charges may be brought before a court, how a trial should proceed, and how punishment is determined. A judge presides over the process to see that it is properly carried out according to all current rules. Since the civil law system is documented and updated as necessary, it is considered to be a codified system.

Current United States Civil Law Tradition

For the most part, the traditional legal system used in the United States is the common law tradition; it began in England and was brought here by virtue of being a British colony. There are definitely infusions of civil law tradition within the United States legal system primarily on a state level. The reason for this is because some states adopted more of a civil law tradition based on its original settlers and their country of origin.

England was one of the few countries practicing common law from the beginning, while most of the rest of Europe was practicing – and still practices – civil law tradition. This is why civil law is a part of the state legal code in Louisiana, Texas, California and a few other southwestern states. Civil law was practiced in France, Spain and Mexico and settlers from these countries brought their legal system with them. Most state level laws are somewhat blended yet mainly based on common law traditions.

The influx of civil law within a state’s own legal code is frequently applied to property ownership cases and is based on how such cases were decided throughout Europe. When sections of civil law tradition were added into the United States common law, it was frequently seen in areas where immigrants from other countries already were familiar with a workable process and has used it for hundreds of years.  So even though the United State’s legal system is primarily based on common law, civil trial lawyers in College Station recognize the places where civil law principles are going to apply – and how to achieve the most success!

Hoelscher, Lipsey, Elmore & Poole  – Your Civil Trial Lawyers in College Station!

Looking for civil trial lawyers in College Station? Call (979) 846-4726 and speak with  Hoelscher, Lipsey, Elmore and Poole, PPC – let them resolve your  legal issues!