Litigation Lawyers in Chicago
In Chicago, Illinois, "civil procedure" refers to the various processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
Chicago, 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 Chicago, Illinois, civil litigation is frequently 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 Chicago, Illinois Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The initial, and perhaps most significant, part of filing a lawsuit in Chicago, Illinois is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Chicago, 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). Usually, but not always, the end of the complaint will contain a "prayer for relief." The prayer for relief is just a statement of what the plaintiff is asking the court to do to remedy the harm that the defendant allegedly caused.
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 Chicago, 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 Chicago, 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 Chicago 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 gained 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 Chicago, Illinois Lawyer Help?
If you are facing a legal issue of any sort in Chicago, Illinois, you are going to encounter civil procedure issues.
It should go without saying that you should have a Chicago, Illinois attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost sure to face, if you're involved in a lawsuit.