Litigation Lawyers in Hammond
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that regulate the process of civil litigation in Hammond, Indiana. 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 Hammond, Indiana are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, low-cost, simple, and fair as possible.
In Hammond, Indiana, civil litigation is usually extremely perplexing. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly perplexing. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.
Major Hammond, Indiana Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: In Hammond, Indiana the initial step in suing somebody (after speaking with a lawyer to determine if you have a case) is usually filing a complaint. The complaint is also one of the most significant 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: 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 reasons 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 shown, it would negate, or mitigate, his liability to the plaintiff.
Discovery: Once both sides have fired their opening volleys in the form of the complaint and answer, the next procedure in civil litigation in Hammond, Indiana is discovery. Under the civil procedure rules of most jurisdictions in the U.S., each side of a lawsuit is obligated by law to disclose relevant information to the other side. These disclosures come in the form of depositions, the production of documents, and answers to written questions submitted by opposing counsel.
Trial: It is actually quite rare for civil lawsuits in Hammond, Indiana to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Hammond highly encourage early resolution to cases by dismissal of lawsuits that have no merit, and negotiated settlement of those that do. Nonetheless, when neither of those things happen, the case goes to trial. This is when a judge and jury determine 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 Hammond, Indiana Lawyer Help?
If you're facing a lawsuit in Hammond, Indiana whether as the plaintiff or defendant, you will have to interact with your jurisdiction's civil procedure rules.
It should go without saying that you should have a Hammond, Indiana attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost sure to face, if you're involved in a lawsuit.