Litigation Lawyers in West Lafayette
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that regulate the process of civil litigation in West Lafayette, 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 West Lafayette, Indiana are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, inexpensive, simple, and fair as possible.
Civil litigation in West Lafayette, Indiana is almost never a simple process. So, the rules controlling this process can't always be simple, either. Remember, civil procedure governs every single step of the civil litigation process, which can drag on for years.
Major West Lafayette, Indiana Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The complaint is probably the most important document that the plaintiff will file in a West Lafayette, Indiana lawsuit, and it is normally the first. The complaint contains all of the plaintiff's allegations against the defendant, as well as the relief that the plaintiff is asking the court to provide. Thus, it can frame the tone, as well as the legal and factual issues, that will dominate the rest of the case.
Answer: The answer is a document filed by the defendant, in response to a complaint. The answer normally contains a few things: usually, it denies most of the allegations made by the plaintiff. If it does not deny the factual assertions in the complaint, it will normally raise legal defenses, known as affirmative defenses, arguing that even if everything the plaintiff alleges is true, the defendant should not be held liable, because of extenuating circumstances.
Discovery: After the complaint has been filed in the West Lafayette, Indiana court of competent jurisdiction, the next important 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 received by sending the other side written questions, which must be answered under oath, demanding access to documents, and deposing witnesses.
Trial: It's quite rare for lawsuits in West Lafayette, Indiana to go to trial. West Lafayette's civil procedure rules really discourage trials, and rather have designed the system so that it's almost always more cost-effective to settle out of court. Nonetheless, if this is not possible, the matter will go to trial, where a judge and/or jury will decide the factual questions, and then award the appropriate relief (if any) to the prevailing party.
How Can a West Lafayette, Indiana Lawyer Help?
If you are facing a legal issue of any sort in West Lafayette, Indiana, you are going to face civil procedure issues.
The rules of civil procedure in West Lafayette, Indiana are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a seasoned attorney on your side, to help you through the process.