Litigation Lawyers in Gardner
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that regulate the process of civil litigation in Gardner, 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 Gardner, Massachusetts reflect certain values that society, through its elected representatives, wants to promote. 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.
Gardner, Massachusetts's civil procedure rules can get pretty perplexing, however. They govern every aspect of a civil action, from the filing of the complaint, to discovery, and all the way through trial and appeals.
Major Gardner, Massachusetts Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The initial, and perhaps most significant, part of filing a lawsuit in Gardner, Massachusetts is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Gardner, 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). Usually, 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 both sides have fired their opening volleys in the form of the complaint and answer, the next procedure in civil litigation in Gardner, Massachusetts is discovery. Under the civil procedure rules of most jurisdictions in the U.S., each side of a lawsuit is obligated by law to disclose relevant information to the other side. These disclosures come in the form of depositions, the production of documents, and answers to written questions submitted by opposing counsel.
Trial: Although the trial is arguably the most dramatic element of civil procedure in Gardner, Massachusetts, it is actually very rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in Gardner is designed to encourage early settlement of cases, or dismissal of cases that don't have any legal or factual merit. Nonetheless, in the rare cases when the case is not dismissed, and the parties can't reach a settlement, the matter will go to trial. A trial is the most visible aspect of civil litigation, and it is the stage when all of the legal and factual questions raised by both parties are resolved by a judge and jury, respectively.
How Can a Gardner, Massachusetts Lawyer Help?
If you are facing a legal issue of any sort in Gardner, Massachusetts, you are going to encounter civil procedure issues.
The rules of civil procedure in Gardner, Massachusetts are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a reputable attorney on your side, to help you through the process.