Litigation Lawyers in San Diego
In San Diego, California, "civil procedure" refers to the different processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
The civil procedure rules in San Diego, California are designed around a few simple goals for the civil litigation system: efficiency, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and, most vitally, fairness.
In San Diego, California, civil litigation is typically extremely convoluted. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly difficult. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.
Major San Diego, California Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The first, and perhaps most important, part of filing a lawsuit in San Diego, California is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in San Diego, 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 simply a statement of what the plaintiff is asking the court to do to remedy the harm that the defendant allegedly caused.
Answer: After the plaintiff files the complaint, the defendant has to act. While they have a few options at this stage of the game, most defendants elect to file an answer. The answer is the defendant's first direct response to the plaintiff's allegations. Sometimes, the answer contains a general denial, in which the defendant simply denies everything the plaintiff alleges. It might also contain a point-by-point addressing of every allegation the plaintiff makes, denying some, and admitting some.
Discovery: Once the complaint and answer have been filed in a San Diego, 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: In San Diego, California, it's really extremely rare for civil lawsuits to go to trial. Of all the lawsuits that are filed, only a tiny minority make it to trial. The majority are either dismissed, or settled. This is by design: the civil procedure rules in San Diego are specifically meant to encourage early resolution of legal disputes, without resorting to a costly and time-consuming trial. However, when a case does go to trial, it is for the purpose of a jury resolving all of the factual disputes between the parties. Each side will present evidence received through the discovery process, call witnesses, and make arguments on behalf of their position. Once the jury reaches a verdict (a finding of fact), the judge enters a judgment on the verdict.
How Can a San Diego, California Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any considerable legal issue in San Diego, California, you can be pretty much certain that you'll face at least a few procedural complications that can hold up the process.
Civil Procedure in San Diego, California can be pretty convoluted. It's always a good idea to have a lawyer who can advise you on how best to deal with these civil procedure issues.