Litigation Lawyers in Winthrop Harbor
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Winthrop Harbor, 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 Winthrop Harbor, Illinois are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, affordable, simple, and fair as possible.
In Winthrop Harbor, Illinois, civil litigation is often extremely convoluted. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly difficult. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.
Major Winthrop Harbor, Illinois Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: When somebody believes that they have suffered a legal wrong in Winthrop Harbor, Illinois, and decide to file a lawsuit, the first document that they file with the court is normally 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 usually 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 normally the first document they file in a lawsuit. As the name suggests, it "answers" the plaintiff's complaint. The answer usually 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 example, 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: The civil procedure rules in Winthrop Harbor, Illinois were written with the purpose of, among other things, avoiding surprises. For that reason, everyone immersed 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 is really quite rare for civil lawsuits in Winthrop Harbor, Illinois to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Winthrop Harbor strongly encourage early resolution to cases by dismissal of lawsuits that have no merit, and negotiated settlement of those that do. However, when neither of those things happen, the case goes to trial. This is when a judge and jury decide the questions of law and fact, respectively, raised in the case. The jury then issues a verdict, based on the evidence presented to them.
How Can a Winthrop Harbor, Illinois Lawyer Help?
If you are dealing with a lawsuit in Winthrop Harbor, Illinois, it's almost certain that you will have to deal with issues concerning civil procedure.
The rules of civil procedure in Winthrop Harbor, Illinois are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a brilliant attorney on your side, to help you through the process.