Litigation Lawyers in Berkeley
In Berkeley, Illinois, "civil procedure" refers to the different processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
Berkeley, Illinois's government strives to make the civil justice system fair, efficient, and accessible. The rules of civil procedure are designed to encourage those goals, to the greatest extent possible.
In Berkeley, Illinois, civil litigation is typically extremely convoluted. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly difficult. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.
Major Berkeley, Illinois Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The first, and perhaps most important, part of filing a lawsuit in Berkeley, Illinois is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Berkeley, Illinois that's responsible for handling civil trials. It lists everything that the plaintiff (the person who is suing) alleges against the defendant (the person the plaintiff is suing). Normally, but not always, the end of the complaint will contain a "prayer for relief." The prayer for relief is simply a statement of what the plaintiff is asking the court to do to remedy the harm that the defendant allegedly caused.
Answer: The answer is normally the first document that the defendant files, and it is meant to serve as a direct response to the plaintiff's complaint. It normally denies all of the plaintiff's major allegations. It might also lay out affirmative defenses. An "affirmative defense" is a set of circumstances that negate the defendant's liability even if their conduct would ordinarily be unlawful. For example, in a lawsuit for battery, a defendant might admit that he struck the plaintiff, but claim that he acted in self-defense. If that can be proven, it would negate, or mitigate, his liability to the plaintiff.
Discovery: Once the complaint and answer have been filed in a Berkeley, Illinois court, the next major civil procedure issue comes up. Discovery is the process in which both sides of the lawsuit are required to disclose required evidence to one another. The lawyers for each side can submit written questions, which the other party is required to answer under oath, unless the information is privileged. Each side can also request any relevant documents, physical evidence, and can conduct depositions of witnesses and parties to the lawsuit.
Trial: It's quite rare for lawsuits in Berkeley, Illinois to go to trial. Berkeley's civil procedure rules really discourage trials, and rather 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 Berkeley, Illinois Lawyer Help?
If you are dealing with a lawsuit in Berkeley, Illinois, it's almost certain that you will have to deal with issues concerning civil procedure.
The rules of civil procedure in Berkeley, Illinois are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a brilliant attorney on your side, to help you through the process.