My Experience In the Civil Court

Eman Ordonez

The Story

I was driving my Bugatti Veyron to work, nice and relaxed, because I thought it was going to be a very great day. I parked my car and went inside. On my way to the elevator to get to the floor of my office, I remembered I left my files I printed last night in my car. On my way back, I got a text from my wife reminding me not to forget the milk and eggs. Seconds after that, I got back to my car to see one of my worst co-workers, Joab Rietser, crushing the back of my car with a bat. Since I had my phone in my hands, I quickly took a picture of him. After he saw my frustrated face, and phone pointing towards him, he ran away, but I knew I can still sue him for property damage. When I looked at the picture, I was surprised the picture wasn't blurry, and it was obvious it was Joab crushing my car. This evidence was going to help me a lot.

What I Did About It

I called my lawyer, Richard Maling, and I told him the whole story. Right after the call, he immediately started on the complaint, which is a formal statement naming the plaintiff, me, and the defendant, Joab Rietser, and describes the lawsuit. Two days later, the court sent a summon to Joab telling him about the suit and the certain day and time he should appear in the court.

What He did About It

Joab made a pleading stating that the cause of his actions were because he thinks his salary is too low. A pleading is the complaint and a formal statement of the cause of an action together. He met up with his lawyer, and they decided to request a pretrial conference. The judge and lawyers met to discuss which matters should be presented to the jury, to review evidence and witnesses, to set a timetable, and to discuss the settlement of the case. After that, my lawyer and I started working on evidence and ideas to put forth in the trial. I was surprised he never wanted a mediation, an intervention in a dispute in order to resolve it, not even an arbitration, the use of an arbitrator to settle a dispute. He probably thought he could win the case, which was pretty dumb, unless he didn't know I took a clear picture of him.

The Trial

After 2 weeks of meeting with Dr. Maling and discussing our side of the case, it was time for the trial. A trial is a formal examination of evidence before a judge, and typically before a jury, in order to decide guilt in a case of criminal or civil proceedings. There were 8 people in the jury. I went first, because the plaintiff (a person who brings a case against another) always goes first, then the defendant (an individual, company, or institution sued or accused in a court of law. In this case, an individual). I summarized my case, and I showed the preponderance of evidence I had (which was the photo), because although I had little evidence, the amount of truth and accuracy the evidence had was crucial and very significant. When Joab went up to speak his summary of the case, you could tell he was very nervous.


After the brief summary, the judge and jury made their verdict, a decision on a disputed issue in a civil or criminal case. They decided that I won the case! That meant that Joab had to pay the price, literally. He ended up paying $23,550 worth of damages, plus $500 in civil law fees. He knew he couldn't go much further in this case, so decided not to appeal (apply to a higher court for a reversal of the decision of a lower court) this case. This was my experience in the civil court.