Litigation Lawyers in Madison
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Madison, 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 Madison, Illinois are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, affordable, 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 Madison, 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 Madison, Illinois Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The complaint is probably the most important document that the plaintiff will file in a Madison, Illinois lawsuit, and it is usually the first. The complaint contains all of the plaintiff's allegations against the defendant, as well as the relief that the plaintiff is asking the court to provide. Therefore, it can frame the tone, as well as the legal and factual issues, that will dominate the rest of the case.
Answer: For the defendant, the answer is usually the first document they file in a lawsuit. As the name suggests, it "answers" the plaintiff's complaint. The answer typically 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 example, 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: After the complaint has been filed in the Madison, 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's actually very uncommon for lawsuits to go trial in Madison, Illinois, because the rules of civil procedure in Madison, and nearly everywhere else, encourage speedy resolution of legal disputes, before they ever see the inside of a courtroom. This is largely accomplished by judges dismissing cases that clearly have no merit, or the parties settling out of court. However, when neither of these things is possible, both sides of the lawsuit will have to hash it out in a trial, which can be the most stressful and expensive step in the process. It involves both sides of the case presenting their evidence and arguments to a jury and judge, and letting them decide the issues.
How Can a Madison, Illinois Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any significant legal issue in Madison, Illinois, you can be pretty much certain that you'll face at least a few procedural complications that can hold up the process.
Civil Procedure in Madison, 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.