Litigation Lawyers in Oxford

"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Oxford, 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 Oxford, 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.

Oxford, Massachusetts's civil procedure rules can get pretty convoluted, 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 Oxford, Massachusetts Civil Procedure Issues

Complaint: When somebody believes that they have suffered a legal wrong in Oxford, Massachusetts, and decide to file a lawsuit, the first document that they file with the court is normally 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 usually 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: After the plaintiff files the complaint, the defendant has to act. While they have a few options 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. Sometimes, 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 initial documents have been filed by both parties in the correct Oxford, Massachusetts court, the discovery process begins. "Discovery" refers to a wide range of disclosures that each side of the lawsuit must make to the other. Essentially, everyone involved in the lawsuit has to disclose every piece of information in their possession (with some exceptions) that's relevant to the factual issues in the case. There are a few different methods that are employed in this process: each side can send written questions to the other, which must be answered under oath. They can further request documents, as well as access to physical evidence. They can also conduct depositions (in-person Q&A sessions) of parties and witnesses.

Trial: It's quite rare for lawsuits in Oxford, Massachusetts to go to trial. Oxford's civil procedure rules really discourage trials, and rather 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 Oxford, Massachusetts Lawyer Help?

If you're facing a lawsuit in Oxford, Massachusetts whether as the plaintiff or defendant, you will have to deal with your jurisdiction's civil procedure rules.

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