Litigation Lawyers in Springfield
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Springfield, 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 Springfield, Illinois are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, affordable, simple, and fair as possible.
In Springfield, Illinois, civil litigation is often extremely complicated. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly complex. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.
Major Springfield, Illinois Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The first, and perhaps most important, part of filing a lawsuit in Springfield, Illinois is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Springfield, 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). Usually, 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: The answer is usually the first document that the defendant files, and it is meant to serve as a direct response to the plaintiff's complaint. It usually denies all of the plaintiff's major allegations. It might also lay out affirmative defenses. An "affirmative defense" is a set of circumstances 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 proven, it would negate, or mitigate, his liability to the plaintiff.
Discovery: The civil procedure rules in Springfield, Illinois were written with the purpose of, among other things, avoiding surprises. For that reason, everyone involved 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: It's quite rare for lawsuits in Springfield, Illinois to go to trial. Springfield's civil procedure rules actually discourage trials, and instead have designed the system so that it's almost always more cost-effective to settle out of court. However, if this is not possible, the matter will go to trial, where a judge and/or jury will determine the factual questions, and then award the appropriate relief (if any) to the prevailing party.
How Can a Springfield, Illinois Lawyer Help?
If you are facing a legal issue of any kind in Springfield, Illinois, you are going to encounter civil procedure issues.
Because the rules of civil procedure in Springfield, Illinois are complex, it's smart to have the counsel of an experienced attorney through every step of the process.