Litigation Lawyers in Lawrence
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Lawrence, 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 Lawrence, Indiana are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, affordable, simple, and fair as possible.
Civil litigation in Lawrence, 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 Lawrence, Indiana Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The first, and perhaps most important, part of filing a lawsuit in Lawrence, Indiana is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Lawrence, 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). Usually, 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 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 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 Lawrence, 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: it's actually very uncommon for lawsuits to go trial in Lawrence, Indiana, because the rules of civil procedure in Lawrence, 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 Lawrence, Indiana Lawyer Help?
If you are dealing with a lawsuit in Lawrence, Indiana, it's almost certain that you will have to deal with issues concerning civil procedure.
In Lawrence, Indiana, procedural issues can derail an otherwise-valid case. They can also be some of the most obtuse and convoluted issues in the whole case. Therefore, you should not go into something like this without the counsel of an attorney.