Litigation Lawyers in Modesto
In Modesto, California, "civil procedure" refers to the varied processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
The civil procedure rules in Modesto, California are designed around a few simple goals for the civil litigation system: efficiency, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and, most notably, fairness.
In Modesto, California, civil litigation is frequently extremely confusing. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly complicated. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.
Major Modesto, California Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most significant part of filing a lawsuit in Modesto, California is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Modesto, 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 typically the first document they file in a lawsuit. As the name suggests, it "answers" the plaintiff's complaint. The answer normally 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: The civil procedure rules in Modesto, California were written with the purpose of, among other things, preventing surprises. For that reason, everyone engaged in a lawsuit goes into trial with a pretty good idea of what evidence the other side has. This is largely because of the discovery procedure, during which the attorneys for both sides are obligated to disclose (with some exemptions) all information relevant to the trial which they have in their possession. These disclosures come in several forms, such as simply sending boxes of documents, deposing witnesses, or submitting written questions to the other side, which the recipient is obligated to answer under oath.
Trial: It is truly quite rare for civil lawsuits in Modesto, California to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Modesto 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 Modesto, California Lawyer Help?
If you're facing a lawsuit in Modesto, California whether as the plaintiff or defendant, you will have to interact with your jurisdiction's civil procedure rules.
Because the rules of civil procedure in Modesto, California are intricate, it's smart to have the counsel of an efficient attorney through every step of the process.