Litigation Lawyers in Sacramento County
In Sacramento County, California, "civil procedure" refers to the various processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
The civil procedure rules in Sacramento County, California are designed around a few simple goals for the civil litigation system: efficiency, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and, most especially, fairness.
In Sacramento County, California, civil litigation is usually extremely perplexing. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly perplexing. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.
Major Sacramento County, California Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The initial, and perhaps most significant, part of filing a lawsuit in Sacramento County, California is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Sacramento County, 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 just 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 reasons 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 shown, it would negate, or mitigate, his liability to the plaintiff.
Discovery: The civil procedure rules in Sacramento County, California were written with the purpose of, among other things, preventing surprises. For that reason, everyone involved 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's quite rare for lawsuits in Sacramento County, California to go to trial. Sacramento County'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. Nonetheless, if this is not possible, the matter will go to trial, where a judge and/or jury will decide the factual questions, and then award the appropriate relief (if any) to the prevailing party.
How Can a Sacramento County, California Lawyer Help?
If you're facing a lawsuit in Sacramento County, California whether as the plaintiff or defendant, you will have to interact with your jurisdiction's civil procedure rules.
Civil Procedure in Sacramento County, California can be pretty perplexing. It's always a good idea to have a lawyer who can advise you on how best to deal with these civil procedure issues.