Lakewood, California Civil Procedures
In Lakewood, California, "civil procedure" refers to the different processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
The civil procedure rules in Lakewood, 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 Lakewood, California are sometimes convoluted. Because civil litigation is an inherently complicated 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 Lakewood, California Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: In Lakewood, California the first step in suing somebody (after speaking with a lawyer to determine if you have a case) is normally filing a complaint. The complaint is also one of the most important 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 normally the first document that the defendant files, and it is meant to serve as a direct response to the plaintiff's complaint. It normally denies all of the plaintiff's major allegations. It might also lay out affirmative defenses. An "affirmative defense" is a set of circumstances 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 proven, 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 process in civil litigation in Lakewood, California is discovery. Under the civil procedure rules of most jurisdictions in the U.S., each side of a lawsuit is required 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's really very uncommon for lawsuits to go trial in Lakewood, California, because the rules of civil procedure in Lakewood, and nearly everywhere else, encourage speedy resolution of legal disputes, before they ever see the inside of a courtroom. This is largely accomplished by judges dismissing cases that clearly have no merit, or the parties settling out of court. However, when neither of these things is possible, both sides of the lawsuit will have to hash it out in a trial, which can be the most stressful and expensive step in the process. It involves both sides of the case presenting their evidence and arguments to a jury and judge, and letting them decide the issues.
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How Can a Lakewood, California Lawyer Help?
If you are dealing with a lawsuit in Lakewood, California, it's almost certain that you will have to deal with issues concerning civil procedure.
Civil Procedure in Lakewood, California can be pretty convoluted. It's always a good idea to have a lawyer who can advise you on how best to deal with these civil procedure issues.