Litigation Lawyers in Mattoon
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that regulate the process of civil litigation in Mattoon, Illinois. It does not deal with the substantive rights that the litigation system is meant to safeguard, just the process by which it protects them.
The rules of civil procedure in Mattoon, Illinois are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, low-cost, simple, and fair as possible.
Civil litigation, however, is inherently complicated. So, there is no getting around the fact that the civil procedure rules in Mattoon, Illinois are also going to be somewhat confusing 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 Mattoon, Illinois Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The complaint is probably the most important document that the plaintiff will file in a Mattoon, Illinois lawsuit, and it is typically 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. Consequently, it can frame the tone, as well as the legal and factual issues, that will dominate the rest of the case.
Answer: After the plaintiff files the complaint, the defendant has to act. While they have a few avenues at this stage of the game, most defendants elect to file an answer. The answer is the defendant's first direct response to the plaintiff's allegations. Occasionally, the answer contains a general denial, in which the defendant simply denies everything the plaintiff alleges. It might also contain a point-by-point addressing of every allegation the plaintiff makes, denying some, and admitting some.
Discovery: Once the complaint and answer have been filed in a Mattoon, 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: Although the trial is arguably the most dramatic element of civil procedure in Mattoon, Illinois, it is truly very rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in Mattoon is designed to encourage early settlement of cases, or dismissal of cases that don't have any legal or factual merit. Nonetheless, 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 Mattoon, Illinois Lawyer Help?
If you're suing anyone, or are being sued, in Mattoon, Illinois, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
Civil Procedure in Mattoon, Illinois can be pretty confusing. It's always a good idea to have a lawyer who can advise you on how best to deal with these civil procedure issues.