Litigation Lawyers in Evansville
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Evansville, Indiana. 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 Evansville, Indiana are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, cost-effective, simple, and fair as possible.
In Evansville, Indiana, 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 Evansville, Indiana Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: In Evansville, Indiana the first step in suing somebody (after speaking with a lawyer to determine if you have a case) is typically filing a complaint. The complaint is also one of the most important documents in the civil litigation process. By laying out the wrongs that the plaintiff alleges the defendant has committed, as well as the remedies that the plaintiff wants the court to provide, it can set the tone for the entire rest of the case.
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 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: After the complaint has been filed in the Evansville, Indiana court of competent jurisdiction, the next major phase is the discovery process. In a civil lawsuit, there are not supposed to be any surprises (so the dramatic moments you see in TV trials are largely fiction). This predictability largely comes from the discovery process. Each side of the lawsuit has to disclose information relevant to the lawsuit to the other. This information can be acquired by sending the other side written questions, which must be answered under oath, demanding access to documents, and deposing witnesses.
Trial: it's truly very uncommon for lawsuits to go trial in Evansville, Indiana, because the rules of civil procedure in Evansville, and nearly everywhere else, encourage speedy resolution of legal disputes, before they ever see the inside of a courtroom. This is largely accomplished by judges dismissing cases that clearly have no merit, or the parties settling out of court. However, when neither of these things is possible, both sides of the lawsuit will have to hash it out in a trial, which can be the most stressful and expensive step in the process. It involves both sides of the case presenting their evidence and arguments to a jury and judge, and letting them decide the issues.
How Can a Evansville, Indiana Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any substantial legal issue in Evansville, Indiana, you can be pretty much certain that you'll face at least a few procedural complications that can hold up the process.
Because the rules of civil procedure in Evansville, Indiana are intricate, it's smart to have the counsel of an efficient attorney through every step of the process.