Litigation Lawyers in East Bridgewater

"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that regulate the process of civil litigation in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts. It does not deal with the substantive rights that the litigation system is meant to safeguard, just the process by which it protects them.

Like all laws, the rules of civil procedure in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts reflect particular values that society, through its elected representatives, wants to encourage. So, the rules of civil procedure have the stated goal of ensuring that the justice system is fair, cost effective, efficient, and accessible to everyone who has a legitimate legal grievance.

East Bridgewater, Massachusetts's civil procedure rules can get pretty difficult, however. They control every aspect of a civil action, from the filing of the complaint, to discovery, and all the way through trial and appeals.

Major East Bridgewater, Massachusetts Civil Procedure Issues

Complaint: The initial, and perhaps most significant, part of filing a lawsuit in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts 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). Normally, but not always, the end of the complaint will contain a "prayer for relief." The prayer for relief is just a statement of what the plaintiff is asking the court to do to remedy the harm that the defendant allegedly caused.

Answer: After the plaintiff files the complaint, the defendant has to act. While they have a few avenues at this stage of the game, most defendants elect to file an answer. The answer is the defendant's first direct response to the plaintiff's allegations. Occasionally, the answer contains a general denial, in which the defendant simply denies everything the plaintiff alleges. It might also contain a point-by-point addressing of every allegation the plaintiff makes, denying some, and admitting some.

Discovery: Once the complaint and answer have been filed in a East Bridgewater, Massachusetts court, the next major civil procedure issue comes up. Discovery is the procedure in which both sides of the lawsuit are obligated to disclose obligated 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: In East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, it's really very rare for civil lawsuits to go to trial. Of all the lawsuits that are filed, only a tiny minority make it to trial. The majority are either dismissed, or settled. This is by design: the civil procedure rules in East Bridgewater are particularly meant to encourage early resolution of legal disputes, without resorting to a costly and time-consuming trial. Nonetheless, when a case does go to trial, it is for the purpose of a jury resolving all of the factual disputes between the parties. Each side will present evidence acquired through the discovery process, call witnesses, and make arguments on behalf of their position. Once the jury reaches a verdict (a finding of fact), the judge enters a judgment on the verdict.

How Can a East Bridgewater, Massachusetts Lawyer Help?

If you're facing any considerable legal issue in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, you can be pretty much sure that you'll face at least a few procedural complications that can hold up the process.

It should go without saying that you should have a East Bridgewater, Massachusetts attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost sure to face, if you're immersed in a lawsuit.