Litigation Lawyers in Columbus
In Columbus, Georgia, "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 Columbus, Georgia 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.
Civil litigation in Columbus, Georgia is almost never a simple process. So, the rules governing this process can't always be simple, either. Remember, civil procedure covers every single step of the civil litigation process, which can drag on for years.
Major Columbus, Georgia Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most important part of filing a lawsuit in Columbus, Georgia is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Columbus, Georgia court that lays out the plaintiff's (the person filing the suit) allegations against the defendant (the person 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 circumstances 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 proven, it would negate, or mitigate, his liability to the plaintiff.
Discovery: The civil procedure rules in Columbus, Georgia were written with the purpose of, among other things, avoiding surprises. For that reason, everyone immersed 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 process, during which the attorneys for both sides are required to disclose (with some exemptions) all information relevant to the trial which they have in their possession. These disclosures come in multiple 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: Although the trial is arguably the most dramatic element of civil procedure in Columbus, Georgia, it is really extremely rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in Columbus is designed to encourage early settlement of cases, or dismissal of cases that don't have any legal or factual merit. However, 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 Columbus, Georgia Lawyer Help?
If you are facing a legal issue of any kind in Columbus, Georgia, you are going to face civil procedure issues.
It should go without saying that you should have a Columbus, Georgia attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost certain to face, if you're immersed in a lawsuit.