Litigation Lawyers in Lantana
In Lantana, Florida, "civil procedure" refers to the varied processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
Like all laws, the rules of civil procedure in Lantana, Florida reflect specific values that society, through its elected representatives, wants to advocate. 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 complicated. So, there is no getting around the fact that the civil procedure rules in Lantana, Florida are also going to be somewhat confusing 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 Lantana, Florida Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most significant part of filing a lawsuit in Lantana, Florida is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Lantana, 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: 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: Once the initial documents have been filed by both parties in the proper Lantana, Florida 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 additionally request documents, as well as access to physical evidence. They can also conduct depositions (in-person Q&A sessions) of parties and witnesses.
Trial: In Lantana, Florida, it's truly 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 Lantana 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 gained 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 Lantana, Florida Lawyer Help?
If you're suing anyone, or are being sued, in Lantana, Florida, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
In Lantana, Florida, procedural complications can derail an otherwise-valid case. They can also be some of the most obtuse and convoluted issues in the whole case. Consequently, you should not go into something like this without the counsel of an attorney.