Litigation Lawyers in Honolulu
In Honolulu, Hawaii, "civil procedure" refers to the various processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
Honolulu, Hawaii's government strives to make the civil justice system fair, efficient, and accessible. The rules of civil procedure are designed to promote those goals, to the greatest extent possible.
The rules of civil procedure in Honolulu, Hawaii are sometimes perplexing. Because civil litigation is an inherently complex process, the rules that govern how it proceeds can't be simple, either. They govern every step of the litigation process, from filing the initial complaint, all the way to the final appeals process.
Major Honolulu, Hawaii Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most significant part of filing a lawsuit in Honolulu, Hawaii is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Honolulu, Hawaii 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, usually 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 prove 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 Honolulu, Hawaii 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's actually very uncommon for lawsuits to go trial in Honolulu, Hawaii, because the rules of civil procedure in Honolulu, and nearly everywhere else, encourage speedy resolution of legal disputes, before they ever see the inside of a courtroom. This is largely done by judges dismissing cases that clearly have no merit, or the parties settling out of court. Nonetheless, when neither of these things is possible, both sides of the lawsuit will have to hash it out in a trial, which can be the most stressful and expensive step in the process. It involves both sides of the case presenting their evidence and arguments to a jury and judge, and letting them determine the issues.
How Can a Honolulu, Hawaii Lawyer Help?
If you're facing a lawsuit in Honolulu, Hawaii whether as the plaintiff or defendant, you will have to interact with your jurisdiction's civil procedure rules.
Because the rules of civil procedure in Honolulu, Hawaii are complex, it's smart to have the counsel of an experienced attorney through every step of the process.