Litigation Lawyers in Lake County
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Lake County, 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 Lake County, Indiana are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, affordable, simple, and fair as possible.
Civil litigation in Lake County, Indiana is almost never a simple process. So, the rules governing this process can't always be simple, either. Remember, civil procedure covers every single step of the civil litigation process, which can drag on for years.
Major Lake County, Indiana Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The first, and perhaps most important, part of filing a lawsuit in Lake County, Indiana is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Lake County, Indiana that's responsible for handling civil trials. It lists everything that the plaintiff (the person who is suing) alleges against the defendant (the person the plaintiff is suing). Normally, but not always, the end of the complaint will contain a "prayer for relief." The prayer for relief is simply a statement of what the plaintiff is asking the court to do to remedy the harm that the defendant allegedly caused.
Answer: The answer is normally the first document that the defendant files, and it is meant to serve as a direct response to the plaintiff's complaint. It normally denies all of the plaintiff's major allegations. It might also lay out affirmative defenses. An "affirmative defense" is a set of circumstances 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 proven, it would negate, or mitigate, his liability to the plaintiff.
Discovery: Once the complaint and answer have been filed in a Lake County, Indiana court, the next major civil procedure issue comes up. Discovery is the process in which both sides of the lawsuit are required to disclose required 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: Although the trial is arguably the most dramatic element of civil procedure in Lake County, Indiana, it is really extremely rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in Lake County is designed to encourage early settlement of cases, or dismissal of cases that don't have any legal or factual merit. However, in the rare cases when the case is not dismissed, and the parties can't reach a settlement, the matter will go to trial. A trial is the most visible aspect of civil litigation, and it is the stage when all of the legal and factual questions raised by both parties are resolved by a judge and jury, respectively.
How Can a Lake County, Indiana Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any considerable legal issue in Lake County, Indiana, you can be pretty much certain that you'll face at least a few procedural complications that can hold up the process.
The rules of civil procedure in Lake County, Indiana 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.