Litigation Lawyers in Westminster
In Westminster, California, "civil procedure" refers to the different processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
The civil procedure rules in Westminster, California are designed around a few simple goals for the civil litigation system: efficiency, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and, most notably, fairness.
In Westminster, 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 Westminster, California Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: In Westminster, California the initial step in suing somebody (after speaking with a lawyer to determine if you have a case) is normally filing a complaint. The complaint is also one of the most significant documents in the civil litigation process. By laying out the wrongs that the plaintiff alleges the defendant has committed, as well as the remedies that the plaintiff wants the court to provide, it can set the tone for the entire rest of the case.
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: Once both sides have fired their opening volleys in the form of the complaint and answer, the next procedure in civil litigation in Westminster, California is discovery. Under the civil procedure rules of most jurisdictions in the U.S., each side of a lawsuit is obligated by law to disclose relevant information to the other side. These disclosures come in the form of depositions, the production of documents, and answers to written questions submitted by opposing counsel.
Trial: It is really quite rare for civil lawsuits in Westminster, California to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Westminster highly encourage early resolution to cases by dismissal of lawsuits that have no merit, and negotiated settlement of those that do. Nonetheless, when neither of those things happen, the case goes to trial. This is when a judge and jury determine 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 Westminster, California Lawyer Help?
If you are dealing with a lawsuit in Westminster, California, it's almost given that you will have to deal with issues regarding civil procedure.
In Westminster, California, procedural complications can derail an otherwise-valid case. They can also be some of the most obtuse and convoluted issues in the whole case. Thus, you should not go into something like this without the counsel of an attorney.