Litigation Lawyers in Quincy
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that regulate the process of civil litigation in Quincy, 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 Quincy, 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.
Quincy, 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 Quincy, Massachusetts Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: When somebody believes that they have suffered a legal wrong in Quincy, Massachusetts, and decide to file a lawsuit, the initial document that they file with the court is usually the complaint. The complaint is very significant, 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: 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 Quincy, 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 Quincy, Massachusetts, it is actually very rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in Quincy 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 Quincy, Massachusetts Lawyer Help?
If you're suing anyone, or are being sued, in Quincy, Massachusetts, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
In Quincy, Massachusetts, procedural dilemmas can derail an otherwise-valid case. They can also be some of the most obtuse and convoluted issues in the whole case. Therefore, you should not go into something like this without the counsel of an attorney.