Litigation Lawyers in Opelousas
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Opelousas, 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 Opelousas, Louisiana are designed around a few simple goals for the civil litigation system: efficiency, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and, most importantly, fairness.
Civil litigation in Opelousas, 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 Opelousas, Louisiana Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The complaint is probably the most important document that the plaintiff will file in an Opelousas, Louisiana lawsuit, and it is typically 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. Consequently, 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 typically contains a few things: normally, it denies most of the allegations made by the plaintiff. If it does not deny the factual assertions in the complaint, it will typically 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: The civil procedure rules in Opelousas, Louisiana were written with the purpose of, among other things, avoiding surprises. For that reason, everyone engaged 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's quite rare for lawsuits in Opelousas, Louisiana to go to trial. Opelousas's civil procedure rules truly discourage trials, and alternatively have designed the system so that it's almost always more cost-effective to settle out of court. However, if this is not possible, the matter will go to trial, where a judge and/or jury will determine the factual questions, and then award the appropriate relief (if any) to the prevailing party.
How Can a Opelousas, Louisiana Lawyer Help?
If you are facing a legal issue of any kind in Opelousas, Louisiana, you are going to confront civil procedure issues.
Because the rules of civil procedure in Opelousas, Louisiana are intricate, it's smart to have the counsel of an efficient attorney through every step of the process.