Litigation Lawyers in Decatur
In Decatur, Alabama, "civil procedure" refers to the various processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
In Decatur, Alabama, the civil procedure rules are meant to ensure that the civil litigation system is as efficient, accessible, fair, and low-cost as possible.
Civil litigation, however, is inherently perplexing. So, there is no getting around the fact that the civil procedure rules in Decatur, Alabama are also going to be somewhat perplexing and obtuse (or at least parts of them are). Remember, these rules govern every single thing that happens in a civil lawsuit, from the first complaint, to the last appeal.
Major Decatur, Alabama Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The complaint is probably the most important document that the plaintiff will file in a Decatur, Alabama lawsuit, and it is usually the first. The complaint contains all of the plaintiff's allegations against the defendant, as well as the relief that the plaintiff is asking the court to provide. Therefore, it can frame the tone, as well as the legal and factual issues, that will dominate the rest of the case.
Answer: After the plaintiff files the complaint, the defendant has to act. While they have a few avenues at this stage of the game, most defendants elect to file an answer. The answer is the defendant's first direct response to the plaintiff's allegations. Occasionally, the answer contains a general denial, in which the defendant simply denies everything the plaintiff alleges. It might also contain a point-by-point addressing of every allegation the plaintiff makes, denying some, and admitting some.
Discovery: After the complaint has been filed in the Decatur, Alabama court of competent jurisdiction, the next important phase is the discovery process. In a civil lawsuit, there are not supposed to be any surprises (so the dramatic moments you see in TV trials are largely fiction). This predictability largely comes from the discovery process. Each side of the lawsuit has to disclose information relevant to the lawsuit to the other. This information can be obtained by sending the other side written questions, which must be answered under oath, demanding access to documents, and deposing witnesses.
Trial: Although the trial is arguably the most dramatic element of civil procedure in Decatur, Alabama, it is actually very rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in Decatur is designed to encourage early settlement of cases, or dismissal of cases that don't have any legal or factual merit. Nonetheless, in the rare cases when the case is not dismissed, and the parties can't reach a settlement, the matter will go to trial. A trial is the most visible aspect of civil litigation, and it is the stage when all of the legal and factual questions raised by both parties are resolved by a judge and jury, respectively.
How Can a Decatur, Alabama Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any significant legal issue in Decatur, Alabama, you can be pretty much sure that you'll face at least a few procedural complications that can hold up the process.
It should go without saying that you should have a Decatur, Alabama attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost sure to face, if you're involved in a lawsuit.