Litigation Lawyers in Decatur
In Decatur, Illinois, "civil procedure" refers to the different processes and procedures that must be followed when conducting a civil lawsuit.
Decatur, 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 Decatur, Illinois, civil litigation is frequently extremely difficult. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly intricate. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.
Major Decatur, Illinois Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: When somebody believes that they have suffered a legal wrong in Decatur, Illinois, and decide to file a lawsuit, the initial document that they file with the court is normally the complaint. The complaint is very significant, because it can frame the factual and legal issues, and set the tone, for the rest of the process. The complaint usually 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: For the defendant, the answer is normally the first document they file in a lawsuit. As the name suggests, it "answers" the plaintiff's complaint. The answer usually denies most, or all, of the allegations made by the plaintiff. If the allegations are factually correct, and the defendant knows this, the defendant might admit that the allegations are true, but because of extenuating circumstances, they should not be held liable. For instance, in a lawsuit for battery, a defendant might admit that they did strike the plaintiff, but claim that they were acting in self-defense, which would negate or weaken the plaintiff's case.
Discovery: Once the complaint and answer have been filed in a Decatur, Illinois court, the next major civil procedure issue comes up. Discovery is the procedure in which both sides of the lawsuit are obligated to disclose obligated 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: In Decatur, Illinois, it's really 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 Decatur 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 Decatur, Illinois Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any considerable legal issue in Decatur, Illinois, you can be pretty much sure that you'll face at least a few procedural complications that can hold up the process.
It should go without saying that you should have a Decatur, Illinois attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost sure to face, if you're immersed in a lawsuit.