Burlingame, California Civil Procedures
In Burlingame, California, "civil procedure" refers to the various processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
The civil procedure rules in Burlingame, California are designed around a few simple goals for the civil litigation system: efficiency, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and, most vitally, fairness.
The rules of civil procedure in Burlingame, California are sometimes complicated. Because civil litigation is an inherently complex process, the rules that govern how it proceeds can't be simple, either. They govern every step of the litigation process, from filing the initial complaint, all the way to the final appeals process.
Major Burlingame, California Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most important part of filing a lawsuit in Burlingame, California is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Burlingame, California court that lays out the plaintiff's (the person filing the suit) allegations against the defendant (the person being sued), as well as the relief that the plaintiff is seeking from the court.
Answer: Once the complaint is filed, the ball is in the defendant's court, so to speak. In the answer, the defendant has an opportunity to respond to all of the factual allegations made by the plaintiff, usually by denying them. The defendant might also raise affirmative defenses, which could prevent the defendant from being held liable. For example, if the defendant is accused of battery, and he did, in fact, batter the plaintiff, he might admit to that fact, but claim that the plaintiff was the aggressor, and he acted purely in self-defense. If he can prove that he acted in self-defense, he likely will not be held liable.
Discovery: Once the initial documents have been filed by both parties in the correct Burlingame, California court, the discovery process begins. "Discovery" refers to a wide range of disclosures that each side of the lawsuit must make to the other. Essentially, everyone involved in the lawsuit has to disclose every piece of information in their possession (with some exceptions) that's relevant to the factual issues in the case. There are a few different methods that are employed in this process: each side can send written questions to the other, which must be answered under oath. They can also request documents, as well as access to physical evidence. They can also conduct depositions (in-person Q&A sessions) of parties and witnesses.
Trial: It is actually quite rare for civil lawsuits in Burlingame, California to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Burlingame strongly encourage early resolution to cases by dismissal of lawsuits that have no merit, and negotiated settlement of those that do. However, when neither of those things happen, the case goes to trial. This is when a judge and jury decide the questions of law and fact, respectively, raised in the case. The jury then issues a verdict, based on the evidence presented to them.
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How Can a Burlingame, California Lawyer Help?
If you're facing a lawsuit in Burlingame, California whether as the plaintiff or defendant, you will have to deal with your jurisdiction's civil procedure rules.
It should go without saying that you should have a Burlingame, California attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost certain to face, if you're involved in a lawsuit.