Litigation Lawyers in Whittier
In Whittier, California, "civil procedure" refers to the varied processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
The civil procedure rules in Whittier, California are designed around a few simple goals for the civil litigation system: efficiency, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and, most importantly, fairness.
In Whittier, California, civil litigation is often 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 Whittier, California Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: In Whittier, California the first step in suing somebody (after speaking with a lawyer to determine if you have a case) is typically filing a complaint. The complaint is also one of the most important 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 typically the first document that the defendant files, and it is meant to serve as a direct response to the plaintiff's complaint. It typically denies all of the plaintiff's major allegations. It might also lay out affirmative defenses. An "affirmative defense" is a set of circumstances 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 proven, 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 process in civil litigation in Whittier, California is discovery. Under the civil procedure rules of most jurisdictions in the U.S., each side of a lawsuit is required 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: Although the trial is arguably the most dramatic element of civil procedure in Whittier, California, it is truly extremely rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in Whittier is designed to encourage early settlement of cases, or dismissal of cases that don't have any legal or factual merit. However, in the rare cases when the case is not dismissed, and the parties can't reach a settlement, the matter will go to trial. A trial is the most visible aspect of civil litigation, and it is the stage when all of the legal and factual questions raised by both parties are resolved by a judge and jury, respectively.
How Can a Whittier, California Lawyer Help?
If you're suing someone, or are being sued, in Whittier, California, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
Civil Procedure in Whittier, California can be pretty intricate. It's always a good idea to have a lawyer who can advise you on how best to deal with these civil procedure issues.