Litigation Lawyers in Harrisburg
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Harrisburg, Illinois. It does not deal with the substantive rights that the litigation system is meant to protect, just the process by which it protects them.
The rules of civil procedure in Harrisburg, Illinois are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, cost-effective, simple, and fair as possible.
Civil litigation, however, is inherently complex. So, there is no getting around the fact that the civil procedure rules in Harrisburg, Illinois are also going to be somewhat complicated and obtuse (or at least parts of them are). Remember, these rules govern every single thing that happens in a civil lawsuit, from the first complaint, to the last appeal.
Major Harrisburg, Illinois Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The first, and perhaps most important, part of filing a lawsuit in Harrisburg, Illinois is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Harrisburg, 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 simply a statement of what the plaintiff is asking the court to do to remedy the harm that the defendant allegedly caused.
Answer: Once the complaint is filed, the ball is in the defendant's court, so to speak. In the answer, the defendant has an opportunity to respond to all of the factual allegations made by the plaintiff, usually by denying them. The defendant might also raise affirmative defenses, which could prevent the defendant from being held liable. For example, if the defendant is accused of battery, and he did, in fact, batter the plaintiff, he might admit to that fact, but claim that the plaintiff was the aggressor, and he acted purely in self-defense. If he can prove that he acted in self-defense, he likely will not be held liable.
Discovery: After the complaint has been filed in the Harrisburg, Illinois court of competent jurisdiction, the next major phase is the discovery process. In a civil lawsuit, there are not supposed to be any surprises (so the dramatic moments you see in TV trials are largely fiction). This predictability largely comes from the discovery process. Each side of the lawsuit has to disclose information relevant to the lawsuit to the other. This information can be obtained by sending the other side written questions, which must be answered under oath, demanding access to documents, and deposing witnesses.
Trial: It is actually quite rare for civil lawsuits in Harrisburg, Illinois to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Harrisburg strongly encourage early resolution to cases by dismissal of lawsuits that have no merit, and negotiated settlement of those that do. However, when neither of those things happen, the case goes to trial. This is when a judge and jury decide the questions of law and fact, respectively, raised in the case. The jury then issues a verdict, based on the evidence presented to them.
How Can a Harrisburg, Illinois Lawyer Help?
If you're suing someone, or are being sued, in Harrisburg, Illinois, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
In Harrisburg, Illinois, procedural dilemmas can derail an otherwise-valid case. They can also be some of the most obtuse and convoluted issues in the whole case. Therefore, you should not go into something like this without the counsel of an attorney.