Litigation Lawyers in Sacramento
In Sacramento, California, "civil procedure" refers to the different processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
The civil procedure rules in Sacramento, California are designed around a few simple goals for the civil litigation system: efficiency, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and, most notably, fairness.
In Sacramento, California, civil litigation is frequently 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 Sacramento, California Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The initial, and perhaps most significant, part of filing a lawsuit in Sacramento, California is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Sacramento, 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). Normally, 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 normally the first document that the defendant files, and it is meant to serve as a direct response to the plaintiff's complaint. It normally 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, California were written with the purpose of, among other things, preventing surprises. For that reason, everyone immersed 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, California to go to trial. Sacramento's civil procedure rules really discourage trials, and rather 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, California Lawyer Help?
If you are dealing with a lawsuit in Sacramento, California, it's almost given that you will have to deal with issues regarding civil procedure.
It should go without saying that you should have a Sacramento, California attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost sure to face, if you're immersed in a lawsuit.