Litigation Lawyers in Cortland
In Cortland, Illinois, "civil procedure" refers to the various processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
Cortland, 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 Cortland, Illinois, civil litigation is often extremely complicated. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly complex. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.
Major Cortland, Illinois Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: When somebody believes that they have suffered a legal wrong in Cortland, Illinois, and decide to file a lawsuit, the first document that they file with the court is usually the complaint. The complaint is very important, because it can frame the factual and legal issues, and set the tone, for the rest of the process. The complaint typically contains every factual allegation against the defendant that forms the basis of the plaintiff's lawsuit. It also contains a prayer for relief, in which the plaintiff lays out his or her desired remedies, if the court finds the defendant liable.
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: Once both sides have fired their opening volleys in the form of the complaint and answer, the next process in civil litigation in Cortland, Illinois 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: Although the trial is arguably the most dramatic element of civil procedure in Cortland, Illinois, it is actually extremely rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in Cortland is designed to encourage early settlement of cases, or dismissal of cases that don't have any legal or factual merit. However, in the rare cases when the case is not dismissed, and the parties can't reach a settlement, the matter will go to trial. A trial is the most visible aspect of civil litigation, and it is the stage when all of the legal and factual questions raised by both parties are resolved by a judge and jury, respectively.
How Can a Cortland, Illinois Lawyer Help?
If you're suing someone, or are being sued, in Cortland, Illinois, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
Civil Procedure in Cortland, Illinois can be pretty complicated. It's always a good idea to have a lawyer who can advise you on how best to deal with these civil procedure issues.