Litigation Lawyers in Sangamon County
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that regulate the process of civil litigation in Sangamon County, 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 Sangamon County, Illinois are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, inexpensive, simple, and fair as possible.
In Sangamon County, Illinois, civil litigation is frequently extremely confusing. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly complicated. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.
Major Sangamon County, Illinois Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The initial, and perhaps most significant, part of filing a lawsuit in Sangamon County, Illinois is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Sangamon County, 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 just a statement of what the plaintiff is asking the court to do to remedy the harm that the defendant allegedly caused.
Answer: The answer is a document filed by the defendant, in response to a complaint. The answer typically contains a few things: normally, it denies most of the allegations made by the plaintiff. If it does not deny the factual assertions in the complaint, it will typically raise legal defenses, known as affirmative defenses, arguing that even if everything the plaintiff alleges is true, the defendant should not be held liable, because of extenuating circumstances.
Discovery: The civil procedure rules in Sangamon County, Illinois were written with the purpose of, among other things, preventing 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 procedure, during which the attorneys for both sides are obligated to disclose (with some exemptions) all information relevant to the trial which they have in their possession. These disclosures come in several 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: In Sangamon County, Illinois, it's truly 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 Sangamon County 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 Sangamon County, Illinois Lawyer Help?
If you are dealing with a lawsuit in Sangamon County, Illinois, it's almost given that you will have to deal with issues regarding civil procedure.
It should go without saying that you should have a Sangamon County, Illinois attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost sure to face, if you're engaged in a lawsuit.