Litigation Lawyers in Urbana
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Urbana, 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 Urbana, Illinois are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, cost-effective, simple, and fair as possible.
In Urbana, Illinois, civil litigation is typically extremely intricate. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly confusing. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.
Major Urbana, Illinois Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: When somebody believes that they have suffered a legal wrong in Urbana, Illinois, and decide to file a lawsuit, the first document that they file with the court is typically the complaint. The complaint is very important, because it can frame the factual and legal issues, and set the tone, for the rest of the process. The complaint normally contains every factual allegation against the defendant that forms the basis of the plaintiff's lawsuit. It also contains a prayer for relief, in which the plaintiff lays out his or her desired remedies, if the court finds the defendant liable.
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: Once the initial documents have been filed by both parties in the correct Urbana, Illinois court, the discovery process begins. "Discovery" refers to a wide range of disclosures that each side of the lawsuit must make to the other. Essentially, everyone involved in the lawsuit has to disclose every piece of information in their possession (with some exceptions) that's relevant to the factual issues in the case. There are a few different methods that are employed in this process: each side can send written questions to the other, which must be answered under oath. They can additionally request documents, as well as access to physical evidence. They can also conduct depositions (in-person Q&A sessions) of parties and witnesses.
Trial: It's quite rare for lawsuits in Urbana, Illinois to go to trial. Urbana's civil procedure rules truly discourage trials, and alternatively 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 Urbana, Illinois Lawyer Help?
If you're suing someone, or are being sued, in Urbana, 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 Urbana, Illinois are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side, to help you through the process.