Litigation Lawyers in Eatonton
In Eatonton, 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 Eatonton, 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 Eatonton, 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 Eatonton, Georgia Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most important part of filing a lawsuit in Eatonton, Georgia is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with an Eatonton, 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: Once the complaint is filed, the ball is in the defendant's court, so to speak. In the answer, the defendant has an opportunity to respond to all of the factual allegations made by the plaintiff, usually by denying them. The defendant might also raise affirmative defenses, which could prevent the defendant from being held liable. For example, 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 prove that he acted in self-defense, he likely will not be held liable.
Discovery: The civil procedure rules in Eatonton, Georgia were written with the purpose of, among other things, avoiding 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 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: In Eatonton, Georgia, it's actually extremely 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 Eatonton are specifically meant to encourage early resolution of legal disputes, without resorting to a costly and time-consuming trial. However, 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 received 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 Eatonton, Georgia Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any significant legal issue in Eatonton, Georgia, you can be pretty much certain that you'll face at least a few procedural complications that can hold up the process.
Because the rules of civil procedure in Eatonton, Georgia are complex, it's smart to have the counsel of an experienced attorney through every step of the process.