Litigation Lawyers in West Frankfort
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that regulate the process of civil litigation in West Frankfort, 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 West Frankfort, Illinois are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, inexpensive, simple, and fair as possible.
In West Frankfort, 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 West Frankfort, Illinois Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: When somebody believes that they have suffered a legal wrong in West Frankfort, Illinois, and decide to file a lawsuit, the initial document that they file with the court is typically the complaint. The complaint is very significant, 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: For the defendant, the answer is typically the first document they file in a lawsuit. As the name suggests, it "answers" the plaintiff's complaint. The answer normally denies most, or all, of the allegations made by the plaintiff. If the allegations are factually correct, and the defendant knows this, the defendant might admit that the allegations are true, but because of extenuating circumstances, they should not be held liable. For instance, in a lawsuit for battery, a defendant might admit that they did strike the plaintiff, but claim that they were acting in self-defense, which would negate or weaken the plaintiff's case.
Discovery: Once the complaint and answer have been filed in a West Frankfort, 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: In West Frankfort, 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 West Frankfort 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 West Frankfort, Illinois Lawyer Help?
If you're suing anyone, or are being sued, in West Frankfort, Illinois, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
Because the rules of civil procedure in West Frankfort, Illinois are intricate, it's smart to have the counsel of an efficient attorney through every step of the process.