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The law is inspired by principles of justice and allows developing the laws that regulate the functioning of a society. Civil, on the other hand, refers to citizens or cities.

It is formed by the legal rules that articulate patrimonial or personal relationships between individuals. The purpose of civil law is to preserve the interests of the subject at a patrimonial and moral level.

This branch of law accepts each human being as a subject of law, regardless of their particular activities. In general, it is made up of the norms that are part of the civil code.

The civil law, therefore, includes the right of individuals (regulating their legal capacity), family law, property law, the law of obligations and contracts, the law of succession and the rules of civil liability.

To understand the branch of civil law, it is necessary to know the notion of natural right, which is the grouping of principles, inspired by nature, of what is considered fair or unfair. These rights (inalienable and universal) are specified through positive or effective law.

The positive law, in turn, can be divided into:

  • Private law  
  • Public law. 

In its broadest sense, civil law is used as a synonym of private law, since it includes the rules linked to the State and the capacity of individuals.


A civil lawyer represents basically any case that is not criminal. There are many different types of civil laws, covering topics from agriculture to war. The federal government has exclusive jurisdiction over some types of civil laws, such as copyright and international law. Other civil laws are reserved exclusively for states, such as real estate, personal injury and family law. Some laws interfere with each other; in these cases, the federal law prevails.


Bankruptcy is ruled by a civil law that involves people or businesses that are declared insolvent (unable to pay their creditors). These laws give the opportunity to those who have suffered financial losses to erase most of their debts and "start from scratch". A civil lawyer who handles bankruptcy cases can represent an individual, a couple, a corporate entity, a conglomerate or even a federal entity.

Corporations and businesses

The civil business law is in charge of both lucrative and non-profit commercial entities. The bulk of these laws fall under federal jurisdiction, although some aspects are handled by the states. Each state has a secretariat with jurisdiction over the businesses that are within it. A business lawyer represents individuals, corporations, companies, commercial entities or even the government, depending on what type of law is involved.


Media lawyers handle civil cases involving radio, television, commercials and advertising and the Internet. They can also play a role in some sectors of copyright and intellectual property laws. While most of these laws are federal, some can be superimposed with state regulations.


Consumer law is handled by lawyers who specialise in consumer protection. Most of the time they deal with credit cards and credit information reports. The civil law of the consumer is also responsible for loans, some banking regulations and minor matters of bankruptcy.


Tax attorneys handle different types of matters, both state and federal, related to taxes. Tax issues are part of corporate and business law, but tax attorneys specialise in cases that require knowledge of specific tax laws. Although there are certain criminal charges involved in the tax laws, most are civil charges.

Hiring and work

Employment and hiring lawyers handle civil, federal and state cases, ranging from wages and labour disputes to cases of discrimination. These attorneys must be familiar with the laws and regulations of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), as well as with labour laws in the United States, particularly the Federal Labour Standards Act (FLSA).


Family law is a civil law applied by lawyers who handle marriage, adoption, divorce, elder care and custody cases, as well as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). These lawyers can also handle civil cases related to reproduction, domestic violence and adoptive parents.

Real estate

Real estate consists of property and land, as well as all its tangible assets and borders. The federal government has jurisdiction over the laws of mortgages and habitation, but the physical properties belong to the civil jurisdiction.

Intellectual property and copyright

Intellectual property lawyers handle cases that belong to the branch of media rights. This includes images, books, music, movies, art, logos, television and radio. These attorneys make contracts define terms of use and "Final User License Agreement (EULA)"; likewise, they establish lawsuits in civil court.

Wills, trusts and assets

The wills, trusts and assets constitute a different section of the law of family and business. Attorneys who are exclusively responsible for wills, trusts and assets are responsible for handling the legal and acquired rights of the owners of cash, commercial and financial property and real and intellectual property.

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