Litigation Lawyers in Lafayette
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Lafayette, Louisiana. 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 civil procedure rules in Lafayette, Louisiana are designed around a few simple goals for the civil litigation system: efficiency, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and, most vitally, fairness.
Civil litigation in Lafayette, Louisiana 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 Lafayette, Louisiana Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The first, and perhaps most important, part of filing a lawsuit in Lafayette, Louisiana is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Lafayette, Louisiana 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: Once the complaint is filed, the ball is in the defendant's court, so to speak. In the answer, the defendant has an opportunity to respond to all of the factual allegations made by the plaintiff, usually by denying them. The defendant might also raise affirmative defenses, which could prevent the defendant from being held liable. For example, if the defendant is accused of battery, and he did, in fact, batter the plaintiff, he might admit to that fact, but claim that the plaintiff was the aggressor, and he acted purely in self-defense. If he can prove that he acted in self-defense, he likely will not be held liable.
Discovery: The civil procedure rules in Lafayette, Louisiana were written with the purpose of, among other things, avoiding surprises. For that reason, everyone involved in a lawsuit goes into trial with a pretty good idea of what evidence the other side has. This is largely because of the discovery process, during which the attorneys for both sides are required to disclose (with some exemptions) all information relevant to the trial which they have in their possession. These disclosures come in multiple forms, such as simply sending boxes of documents, deposing witnesses, or submitting written questions to the other side, which the recipient is obligated to answer under oath.
Trial: It is actually quite rare for civil lawsuits in Lafayette, Louisiana to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Lafayette strongly encourage early resolution to cases by dismissal of lawsuits that have no merit, and negotiated settlement of those that do. However, when neither of those things happen, the case goes to trial. This is when a judge and jury decide 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 Lafayette, Louisiana Lawyer Help?
If you are dealing with a lawsuit in Lafayette, Louisiana, it's almost certain that you will have to deal with issues concerning civil procedure.
In Lafayette, Louisiana, procedural pitfalls 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.