Litigation Lawyers in Fresno
In Fresno, California, "civil procedure" refers to the varied processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
The civil procedure rules in Fresno, California are designed around a few simple goals for the civil litigation system: efficiency, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and, most especially, fairness.
The rules of civil procedure in Fresno, California are sometimes confusing. Because civil litigation is an inherently intricate 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 Fresno, California Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The complaint is probably the most important document that the plaintiff will file in a Fresno, California lawsuit, and it is typically 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. Consequently, 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: Once the complaint and answer have been filed in a Fresno, California court, the next major civil procedure issue comes up. Discovery is the procedure in which both sides of the lawsuit are obligated to disclose obligated evidence to one another. The lawyers for each side can submit written questions, which the other party is required to answer under oath, unless the information is privileged. Each side can also request any relevant documents, physical evidence, and can conduct depositions of witnesses and parties to the lawsuit.
Trial: It's quite rare for lawsuits in Fresno, California to go to trial. Fresno's civil procedure rules truly discourage trials, and alternatively have designed the system so that it's almost always more cost-effective to settle out of court. Nonetheless, if this is not possible, the matter will go to trial, where a judge and/or jury will decide the factual questions, and then award the appropriate relief (if any) to the prevailing party.
How Can a Fresno, California Lawyer Help?
If you are dealing with a lawsuit in Fresno, California, it's almost given that you will have to deal with issues regarding civil procedure.
The rules of civil procedure in Fresno, California are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a reliable attorney on your side, to help you through the process.