Litigation Lawyers in Rancho Santa Margarita
In Rancho Santa Margarita, California, "civil procedure" refers to the various processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
The civil procedure rules in Rancho Santa Margarita, California are designed around a few simple goals for the civil litigation system: efficiency, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and, most vitally, fairness.
In Rancho Santa Margarita, California, civil litigation is typically extremely complicated. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly complex. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.
Major Rancho Santa Margarita, California Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The first, and perhaps most important, part of filing a lawsuit in Rancho Santa Margarita, California is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Rancho Santa Margarita, California that's responsible for handling civil trials. It lists everything that the plaintiff (the person who is suing) alleges against the defendant (the person the plaintiff is suing). Usually, but not always, the end of the complaint will contain a "prayer for relief." The prayer for relief is simply a statement of what the plaintiff is asking the court to do to remedy the harm that the defendant allegedly caused.
Answer: The answer is usually the first document that the defendant files, and it is meant to serve as a direct response to the plaintiff's complaint. It usually 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 the complaint and answer have been filed in a Rancho Santa Margarita, California court, the next major civil procedure issue comes up. Discovery is the process in which both sides of the lawsuit are required to disclose required evidence to one another. The lawyers for each side can submit written questions, which the other party is required to answer under oath, unless the information is privileged. Each side can also request any relevant documents, physical evidence, and can conduct depositions of witnesses and parties to the lawsuit.
Trial: It's quite rare for lawsuits in Rancho Santa Margarita, California to go to trial. Rancho Santa Margarita's civil procedure rules actually discourage trials, and instead have designed the system so that it's almost always more cost-effective to settle out of court. However, if this is not possible, the matter will go to trial, where a judge and/or jury will determine the factual questions, and then award the appropriate relief (if any) to the prevailing party.
How Can a Rancho Santa Margarita, California Lawyer Help?
If you're suing someone, or are being sued, in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
The rules of civil procedure in Rancho Santa Margarita, California are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a good attorney on your side, to help you through the process.