Litigation Lawyers in Lompoc
In Lompoc, California, "civil procedure" refers to the different processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
The civil procedure rules in Lompoc, California are designed around a few simple goals for the civil litigation system: efficiency, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and, most importantly, fairness.
The rules of civil procedure in Lompoc, 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 Lompoc, California Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: In Lompoc, 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: 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, normally 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 show 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 Lompoc, 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 further 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 really quite rare for civil lawsuits in Lompoc, California to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Lompoc 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.
How Can a Lompoc, California Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any considerable legal issue in Lompoc, California, you can be pretty much certain 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 Lompoc, California attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost certain to face, if you're immersed in a lawsuit.