Litigation Lawyers in Canton
In Canton, Georgia, "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 Canton, Georgia 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 in Canton, Georgia 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 Canton, Georgia Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most significant part of filing a lawsuit in Canton, Georgia is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Canton, Georgia 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 usually the first document that the defendant files, and it is meant to serve as a direct response to the plaintiff's complaint. It usually 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 Canton, Georgia 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 also 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 is actually quite rare for civil lawsuits in Canton, Georgia to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Canton highly encourage early resolution to cases by dismissal of lawsuits that have no merit, and negotiated settlement of those that do. Nonetheless, when neither of those things happen, the case goes to trial. This is when a judge and jury determine the questions of law and fact, respectively, raised in the case. The jury then issues a verdict, based on the evidence presented to them.
How Can a Canton, Georgia Lawyer Help?
If you're suing anyone, or are being sued, in Canton, Georgia, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
The rules of civil procedure in Canton, Georgia 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.