Litigation Lawyers in Ames
In Ames, Iowa, "civil procedure" refers to the various processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
Ames, Iowa'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 Ames, Iowa are sometimes complicated. 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 Ames, Iowa Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most important part of filing a lawsuit in Ames, Iowa is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Ames, Iowa 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: After the plaintiff files the complaint, the defendant has to act. While they have a few options 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. Sometimes, 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: Once both sides have fired their opening volleys in the form of the complaint and answer, the next process in civil litigation in Ames, Iowa is discovery. Under the civil procedure rules of most jurisdictions in the U.S., each side of a lawsuit is required by law to disclose relevant information to the other side. These disclosures come in the form of depositions, the production of documents, and answers to written questions submitted by opposing counsel.
Trial: In Ames, Iowa, 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 Ames 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 Ames, Iowa Lawyer Help?
If you are dealing with a lawsuit in Ames, Iowa, it's almost certain that you will have to deal with issues concerning civil procedure.
It should go without saying that you should have a Ames, Iowa attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost certain to face, if you're involved in a lawsuit.