Litigation Lawyers in Miami Dade County
In Miami Dade 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 Miami Dade 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 Miami Dade 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 Miami Dade County, Florida Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most significant part of filing a lawsuit in Miami Dade County, Florida is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Miami Dade 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: After the plaintiff files the complaint, the defendant has to act. While they have a few avenues at this stage of the game, most defendants elect to file an answer. The answer is the defendant's first direct response to the plaintiff's allegations. Occasionally, the answer contains a general denial, in which the defendant simply denies everything the plaintiff alleges. It might also contain a point-by-point addressing of every allegation the plaintiff makes, denying some, and admitting some.
Discovery: After the complaint has been filed in the Miami Dade County, Florida court of competent jurisdiction, the next important phase is the discovery process. In a civil lawsuit, there are not supposed to be any surprises (so the dramatic moments you see in TV trials are largely fiction). This predictability largely comes from the discovery process. Each side of the lawsuit has to disclose information relevant to the lawsuit to the other. This information can be obtained by sending the other side written questions, which must be answered under oath, demanding access to documents, and deposing witnesses.
Trial: Although the trial is arguably the most dramatic element of civil procedure in Miami Dade County, Florida, it is actually very rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in Miami Dade County 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 Miami Dade County, Florida Lawyer Help?
If you're suing anyone, or are being sued, in Miami Dade County, Florida, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
The rules of civil procedure in Miami Dade County, Florida are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a reputable attorney on your side, to help you through the process.