Litigation Lawyers in San Marino
In San Marino, California, "civil procedure" refers to the varied processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
The civil procedure rules in San Marino, California are designed around a few simple goals for the civil litigation system: efficiency, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and, most vitally, fairness.
In San Marino, California, civil litigation is typically extremely intricate. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly confusing. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.
Major San Marino, California Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The first, and perhaps most important, part of filing a lawsuit in San Marino, California is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in San Marino, 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). Typically, 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: After the complaint has been filed in the San Marino, California court of competent jurisdiction, the next major phase is the discovery process. In a civil lawsuit, there are not supposed to be any surprises (so the dramatic moments you see in TV trials are largely fiction). This predictability largely comes from the discovery process. Each side of the lawsuit has to disclose information relevant to the lawsuit to the other. This information can be acquired by sending the other side written questions, which must be answered under oath, demanding access to documents, and deposing witnesses.
Trial: It is truly quite rare for civil lawsuits in San Marino, California to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in San Marino strongly encourage early resolution to cases by dismissal of lawsuits that have no merit, and negotiated settlement of those that do. However, when neither of those things happen, the case goes to trial. This is when a judge and jury decide 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 San Marino, California Lawyer Help?
If you're suing someone, or are being sued, in San Marino, 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 San Marino, California are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side, to help you through the process.