Litigation Lawyers in Alton

In Alton, Illinois, "civil procedure" refers to the various processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.

Alton, Illinois'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.

In Alton, Illinois, civil litigation is usually extremely perplexing. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly perplexing. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.

Major Alton, Illinois Civil Procedure Issues

Complaint: Perhaps the most significant part of filing a lawsuit in Alton, Illinois is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Alton, Illinois 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: After the plaintiff files the complaint, the defendant has to act. While they have a few avenues 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. Occasionally, 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 procedure in civil litigation in Alton, Illinois is discovery. Under the civil procedure rules of most jurisdictions in the U.S., each side of a lawsuit is obligated 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 Alton, Illinois, it's actually very 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 Alton are particularly meant to encourage early resolution of legal disputes, without resorting to a costly and time-consuming trial. Nonetheless, 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 acquired 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 Alton, Illinois Lawyer Help?

If you're suing anyone, or are being sued, in Alton, Illinois, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.

Because the rules of civil procedure in Alton, Illinois are complex, it's smart to have the counsel of an experienced attorney through every step of the process.