Litigation Lawyers in Mill Valley
In Mill Valley, California, "civil procedure" refers to the different processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
The civil procedure rules in Mill Valley, California are designed around a few simple goals for the civil litigation system: efficiency, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and, most especially, fairness.
In Mill Valley, California, civil litigation is usually extremely difficult. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly intricate. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.
Major Mill Valley, California Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most significant part of filing a lawsuit in Mill Valley, California is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Mill Valley, California court that lays out the plaintiff's (the individual filing the suit) allegations against the defendant (the individual being sued), as well as the relief that the plaintiff is seeking from the court.
Answer: For the defendant, the answer is normally the first document they file in a lawsuit. As the name suggests, it "answers" the plaintiff's complaint. The answer usually denies most, or all, of the allegations made by the plaintiff. If the allegations are factually correct, and the defendant knows this, the defendant might admit that the allegations are true, but because of extenuating circumstances, they should not be held liable. For instance, in a lawsuit for battery, a defendant might admit that they did strike the plaintiff, but claim that they were acting in self-defense, which would negate or weaken the plaintiff's case.
Discovery: Once both sides have fired their opening volleys in the form of the complaint and answer, the next procedure in civil litigation in Mill Valley, 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's really very uncommon for lawsuits to go trial in Mill Valley, California, because the rules of civil procedure in Mill Valley, and nearly everywhere else, encourage speedy resolution of legal disputes, before they ever see the inside of a courtroom. This is largely done by judges dismissing cases that clearly have no merit, or the parties settling out of court. Nonetheless, 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 determine the issues.
How Can a Mill Valley, California Lawyer Help?
If you are facing a legal issue of any sort in Mill Valley, California, you are going to face civil procedure issues.
The rules of civil procedure in Mill Valley, California are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a seasoned attorney on your side, to help you through the process.