Litigation Lawyers in Norwalk
In Norwalk, Connecticut, "civil procedure" refers to the different processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
Like all laws, the rules of civil procedure in Norwalk, Connecticut reflect particular values that society, through its elected representatives, wants to encourage. So, the rules of civil procedure have the stated goal of ensuring that the justice system is fair, cost effective, efficient, and accessible to everyone who has a legitimate legal grievance.
The rules of civil procedure in Norwalk, Connecticut are sometimes difficult. Because civil litigation is an inherently complicated process, the rules that govern how it proceeds can't be simple, either. They govern every step of the litigation process, from filing the initial complaint, all the way to the final appeals process.
Major Norwalk, Connecticut Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most significant part of filing a lawsuit in Norwalk, Connecticut is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Norwalk, Connecticut 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: 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 the initial documents have been filed by both parties in the proper Norwalk, Connecticut court, the discovery process begins. "Discovery" refers to a wide range of disclosures that each side of the lawsuit must make to the other. Basically, everyone involved in the lawsuit has to disclose every piece of information in their possession (with some exceptions) that's relevant to the factual issues in the case. There are a few different methods that are employed in this procedure: each side can send written questions to the other, which must be answered under oath. They can further request documents, as well as access to physical evidence. They can also conduct depositions (in-person Q&A sessions) of parties and witnesses.
Trial: it's really very uncommon for lawsuits to go trial in Norwalk, Connecticut, because the rules of civil procedure in Norwalk, and nearly everywhere else, encourage speedy resolution of legal disputes, before they ever see the inside of a courtroom. This is largely done by judges dismissing cases that clearly have no merit, or the parties settling out of court. Nonetheless, when neither of these things is possible, both sides of the lawsuit will have to hash it out in a trial, which can be the most stressful and expensive step in the process. It involves both sides of the case presenting their evidence and arguments to a jury and judge, and letting them determine the issues.
How Can a Norwalk, Connecticut Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any considerable legal issue in Norwalk, Connecticut, you can be pretty much sure that you'll face at least a few procedural complications that can hold up the process.
The rules of civil procedure in Norwalk, Connecticut are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a seasoned attorney on your side, to help you through the process.