New Bedford, Massachusetts Civil Procedures

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

Like all laws, the rules of civil procedure in New Bedford, 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.

New Bedford, Massachusetts's civil procedure rules can get pretty complicated, 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 New Bedford, Massachusetts Civil Procedure Issues

Complaint: When somebody believes that they have suffered a legal wrong in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and decide to file a lawsuit, the first document that they file with the court is usually the complaint. The complaint is very important, because it can frame the factual and legal issues, and set the tone, for the rest of the process. The complaint typically contains every factual allegation against the defendant that forms the basis of the plaintiff's lawsuit. It also contains a prayer for relief, in which the plaintiff lays out his or her desired remedies, if the court finds the defendant liable.

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 New Bedford, Massachusetts 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: Although the trial is arguably the most dramatic element of civil procedure in New Bedford, Massachusetts, it is actually extremely rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in New Bedford is designed to encourage early settlement of cases, or dismissal of cases that don't have any legal or factual merit. However, 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 New Bedford, Massachusetts Lawyer Help?

If you're facing any significant legal issue in New Bedford, Massachusetts, you can be pretty much certain 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 New Bedford, Massachusetts attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost certain to face, if you're involved in a lawsuit.

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Life in New Bedford

New Bedford, Massachusetts houses a population of over 100,000 residents. And that's not all New Bedford is home to, the city is also the number one fishing port in America, in addition to being the world's most famous whaling era seaports. The strategic locationright onthe water makes the city a natural seaport, and wonderful place for the commercial or leisure fisherman to take advantage of.

In addition to many parks and shops located in the city's historic district, New Bedford has whaling museum to commorate the city's role in whaling. Fishing and manufacturing are the two largest industries in New Bedford, although tourism is also on the rise.

New Bedford is also home to some of the state's top lawyers. New Bedford lawyers and other professionals enjoy the wonderful work and lifestyle that the east coast city has to offer, and are trained to assist their client in any issue he or she may find themself facing. New Bedford's location fifty one miles south of the state capital of Boston, makes it a very easy city to visit and enjoy. New Bedford also enjoys a thriving arts and music movement in recent times, that is home to many lively festivals and concerts for their residents and visitors to take part in.

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