Litigation Lawyers in Fort Collins
In Fort Collins, Colorado, "civil procedure" refers to the varied processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
The civil procedure rules in Fort Collins, Colorado are designed around a few simple goals for the civil litigation system: efficiency, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and, most notably, fairness.
Civil litigation in Fort Collins, Colorado is almost never a simple process. So, the rules controlling this process can't always be simple, either. Remember, civil procedure governs every single step of the civil litigation process, which can drag on for years.
Major Fort Collins, Colorado Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most significant part of filing a lawsuit in Fort Collins, Colorado is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Fort Collins, Colorado court that lays out the plaintiff's (the individual filing the suit) allegations against the defendant (the individual being sued), as well as the relief that the plaintiff is seeking from the court.
Answer: Once the complaint is filed, the ball is in the defendant's court, so to speak. In the answer, the defendant has an chance to respond to all of the factual allegations made by the plaintiff, typically by denying them. The defendant might also raise affirmative defenses, which could keep the defendant from being held liable. For instance, if the defendant is accused of battery, and he did, in fact, batter the plaintiff, he might admit to that fact, but claim that the plaintiff was the aggressor, and he acted purely in self-defense. If he can establish that he acted in self-defense, he likely will not be held liable.
Discovery: The civil procedure rules in Fort Collins, Colorado were written with the purpose of, among other things, preventing surprises. For that reason, everyone engaged 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: Although the trial is arguably the most dramatic element of civil procedure in Fort Collins, Colorado, it is truly very rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in Fort Collins is designed to encourage early settlement of cases, or dismissal of cases that don't have any legal or factual merit. Nonetheless, 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 Fort Collins, Colorado Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any substantial legal issue in Fort Collins, Colorado, you can be pretty much sure that you'll face at least a few procedural complications that can hold up the process.
It should go without saying that you should have a Fort Collins, Colorado attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost sure to face, if you're engaged in a lawsuit.