Litigation Lawyers in Lake County
In Lake County, Florida, "civil procedure" refers to the various processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
Like all laws, the rules of civil procedure in Lake County, Florida reflect certain values that society, through its elected representatives, wants to promote. 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.
Civil litigation, however, is inherently perplexing. So, there is no getting around the fact that the civil procedure rules in Lake County, Florida are also going to be somewhat perplexing and obtuse (or at least parts of them are). Remember, these rules govern every single thing that happens in a civil lawsuit, from the first complaint, to the last appeal.
Major Lake County, Florida Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most significant part of filing a lawsuit in Lake County, Florida is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Lake County, Florida 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: For the defendant, the answer is usually the first document they file in a lawsuit. As the name suggests, it "answers" the plaintiff's complaint. The answer typically denies most, or all, of the allegations made by the plaintiff. If the allegations are factually correct, and the defendant knows this, the defendant might admit that the allegations are true, but because of extenuating circumstances, they should not be held liable. For instance, in a lawsuit for battery, a defendant might admit that they did strike the plaintiff, but claim that they were acting in self-defense, which would negate or weaken the plaintiff's case.
Discovery: The civil procedure rules in Lake County, Florida were written with the purpose of, among other things, preventing surprises. For that reason, everyone involved 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: In Lake County, Florida, it's actually very rare for civil lawsuits to go to trial. Of all the lawsuits that are filed, only a tiny minority make it to trial. The majority are either dismissed, or settled. This is by design: the civil procedure rules in Lake County are particularly meant to encourage early resolution of legal disputes, without resorting to a costly and time-consuming trial. Nonetheless, when a case does go to trial, it is for the purpose of a jury resolving all of the factual disputes between the parties. Each side will present evidence acquired through the discovery process, call witnesses, and make arguments on behalf of their position. Once the jury reaches a verdict (a finding of fact), the judge enters a judgment on the verdict.
How Can a Lake County, Florida Lawyer Help?
If you are facing a legal issue of any sort in Lake County, Florida, you are going to encounter civil procedure issues.
Because the rules of civil procedure in Lake County, Florida are complex, it's smart to have the counsel of an experienced attorney through every step of the process.