Litigation Lawyers in West Des Moines
In West Des Moines, Iowa, "civil procedure" refers to the various processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
West Des Moines, 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.
Civil litigation, however, is inherently complex. So, there is no getting around the fact that the civil procedure rules in West Des Moines, Iowa are also going to be somewhat complicated and obtuse (or at least parts of them are). Remember, these rules govern every single thing that happens in a civil lawsuit, from the first complaint, to the last appeal.
Major West Des Moines, Iowa Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The complaint is probably the most important document that the plaintiff will file in a West Des Moines, Iowa lawsuit, and it is usually the first. The complaint contains all of the plaintiff's allegations against the defendant, as well as the relief that the plaintiff is asking the court to provide. Therefore, it can frame the tone, as well as the legal and factual issues, that will dominate the rest of the case.
Answer: The answer is a document filed by the defendant, in response to a complaint. The answer usually contains a few things: typically, it denies most of the allegations made by the plaintiff. If it does not deny the factual assertions in the complaint, it will usually raise legal defenses, known as affirmative defenses, arguing that even if everything the plaintiff alleges is true, the defendant should not be held liable, because of extenuating circumstances.
Discovery: The civil procedure rules in West Des Moines, Iowa 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: It's quite rare for lawsuits in West Des Moines, Iowa to go to trial. West Des Moines's civil procedure rules actually discourage trials, and instead have designed the system so that it's almost always more cost-effective to settle out of court. However, if this is not possible, the matter will go to trial, where a judge and/or jury will determine the factual questions, and then award the appropriate relief (if any) to the prevailing party.
How Can a West Des Moines, Iowa Lawyer Help?
If you're facing a lawsuit in West Des Moines, Iowa whether as the plaintiff or defendant, you will have to deal with your jurisdiction's civil procedure rules.
Because the rules of civil procedure in West Des Moines, Iowa are complex, it's smart to have the counsel of an experienced attorney through every step of the process.