Litigation Lawyers in Highland Park
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Highland Park, 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 Highland Park, Illinois are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, affordable, simple, and fair as possible.
Civil litigation, however, is inherently confusing. So, there is no getting around the fact that the civil procedure rules in Highland Park, Illinois are also going to be somewhat intricate 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 Highland Park, Illinois Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The first, and perhaps most important, part of filing a lawsuit in Highland Park, Illinois is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Highland Park, 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). Typically, 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, typically 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 establish that he acted in self-defense, he likely will not be held liable.
Discovery: The civil procedure rules in Highland Park, Illinois were written with the purpose of, among other things, avoiding surprises. For that reason, everyone engaged in a lawsuit goes into trial with a pretty good idea of what evidence the other side has. This is largely because of the discovery process, during which the attorneys for both sides are required to disclose (with some exemptions) all information relevant to the trial which they have in their possession. These disclosures come in multiple forms, such as simply sending boxes of documents, deposing witnesses, or submitting written questions to the other side, which the recipient is obligated to answer under oath.
Trial: Although the trial is arguably the most dramatic element of civil procedure in Highland Park, Illinois, it is truly extremely rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in Highland Park 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 Highland Park, Illinois Lawyer Help?
If you are facing a legal issue of any kind in Highland Park, Illinois, you are going to confront civil procedure issues.
It should go without saying that you should have a Highland Park, Illinois attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost certain to face, if you're engaged in a lawsuit.