Litigation Lawyers in Shorewood
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that regulate the process of civil litigation in Shorewood, 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 Shorewood, Illinois are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, low-cost, simple, and fair as possible.
In Shorewood, Illinois, civil litigation is usually 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 Shorewood, Illinois Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The initial, and perhaps most significant, part of filing a lawsuit in Shorewood, Illinois is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Shorewood, 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 typically the first document that the defendant files, and it is meant to serve as a direct response to the plaintiff's complaint. It typically denies all of the plaintiff's major allegations. It might also lay out affirmative defenses. An "affirmative defense" is a set of reasons that negate the defendant's liability even if their conduct would ordinarily be unlawful. For example, in a lawsuit for battery, a defendant might admit that he struck the plaintiff, but claim that he acted in self-defense. If that can be shown, it would negate, or mitigate, his liability to the plaintiff.
Discovery: Once both sides have fired their opening volleys in the form of the complaint and answer, the next procedure in civil litigation in Shorewood, Illinois is discovery. Under the civil procedure rules of most jurisdictions in the U.S., each side of a lawsuit is obligated by law to disclose relevant information to the other side. These disclosures come in the form of depositions, the production of documents, and answers to written questions submitted by opposing counsel.
Trial: Although the trial is arguably the most dramatic element of civil procedure in Shorewood, Illinois, it is truly very rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in Shorewood 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 Shorewood, Illinois Lawyer Help?
If you're suing anyone, or are being sued, in Shorewood, Illinois, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
The rules of civil procedure in Shorewood, Illinois are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a reliable attorney on your side, to help you through the process.