Litigation Lawyers in Laguna Beach
In Laguna Beach, California, "civil procedure" refers to the varied processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
The civil procedure rules in Laguna Beach, 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 Laguna Beach, 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 Laguna Beach, California Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: In Laguna Beach, California the initial step in suing somebody (after speaking with a lawyer to determine if you have a case) is typically filing a complaint. The complaint is also one of the most significant documents in the civil litigation process. By laying out the wrongs that the plaintiff alleges the defendant has committed, as well as the remedies that the plaintiff wants the court to provide, it can set the tone for the entire rest of the case.
Answer: The answer is typically the first document that the defendant files, and it is meant to serve as a direct response to the plaintiff's complaint. It typically denies all of the plaintiff's major allegations. It might also lay out affirmative defenses. An "affirmative defense" is a set of reasons that negate the defendant's liability even if their conduct would ordinarily be unlawful. For example, in a lawsuit for battery, a defendant might admit that he struck the plaintiff, but claim that he acted in self-defense. If that can be shown, it would negate, or mitigate, his liability to the plaintiff.
Discovery: Once both sides have fired their opening volleys in the form of the complaint and answer, the next procedure in civil litigation in Laguna Beach, California is discovery. Under the civil procedure rules of most jurisdictions in the U.S., each side of a lawsuit is obligated by law to disclose relevant information to the other side. These disclosures come in the form of depositions, the production of documents, and answers to written questions submitted by opposing counsel.
Trial: It is truly quite rare for civil lawsuits in Laguna Beach, California to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Laguna Beach highly encourage early resolution to cases by dismissal of lawsuits that have no merit, and negotiated settlement of those that do. Nonetheless, when neither of those things happen, the case goes to trial. This is when a judge and jury determine the questions of law and fact, respectively, raised in the case. The jury then issues a verdict, based on the evidence presented to them.
How Can a Laguna Beach, California Lawyer Help?
If you're suing anyone, or are being sued, in Laguna Beach, California, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
Because the rules of civil procedure in Laguna Beach, California are intricate, it's smart to have the counsel of an efficient attorney through every step of the process.