Litigation Lawyers in Westlake
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that regulate the process of civil litigation in Westlake, Louisiana. 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 civil procedure rules in Westlake, Louisiana are designed around a few simple goals for the civil litigation system: efficiency, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and, most notably, fairness.
Civil litigation in Westlake, Louisiana 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 Westlake, Louisiana Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The complaint is probably the most important document that the plaintiff will file in a Westlake, 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 typically the first document that the defendant files, and it is meant to serve as a direct response to the plaintiff's complaint. It typically denies all of the plaintiff's major allegations. It might also lay out affirmative defenses. An "affirmative defense" is a set of reasons 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 shown, it would negate, or mitigate, his liability to the plaintiff.
Discovery: The civil procedure rules in Westlake, Louisiana were written with the purpose of, among other things, preventing 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 procedure, during which the attorneys for both sides are obligated to disclose (with some exemptions) all information relevant to the trial which they have in their possession. These disclosures come in several 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 Westlake, Louisiana to go to trial. Westlake'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. 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 Westlake, Louisiana Lawyer Help?
If you are facing a legal issue of any sort in Westlake, Louisiana, you are going to confront civil procedure issues.
Because the rules of civil procedure in Westlake, Louisiana are intricate, it's smart to have the counsel of an efficient attorney through every step of the process.