Litigation Lawyers in Stoughton
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that regulate the process of civil litigation in Stoughton, 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 Stoughton, Massachusetts reflect specific values that society, through its elected representatives, wants to advocate. 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.
Stoughton, Massachusetts's civil procedure rules can get pretty confusing, however. They regulate every aspect of a civil action, from the filing of the complaint, to discovery, and all the way through trial and appeals.
Major Stoughton, Massachusetts Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: In Stoughton, Massachusetts the initial step in suing somebody (after speaking with a lawyer to determine if you have a case) is typically filing a complaint. The complaint is also one of the most significant documents in the civil litigation process. By laying out the wrongs that the plaintiff alleges the defendant has committed, as well as the remedies that the plaintiff wants the court to provide, it can set the tone for the entire rest of the case.
Answer: For the defendant, the answer is typically the first document they file in a lawsuit. As the name suggests, it "answers" the plaintiff's complaint. The answer normally denies most, or all, of the allegations made by the plaintiff. If the allegations are factually correct, and the defendant knows this, the defendant might admit that the allegations are true, but because of extenuating circumstances, they should not be held liable. For instance, in a lawsuit for battery, a defendant might admit that they did strike the plaintiff, but claim that they were acting in self-defense, which would negate or weaken the plaintiff's case.
Discovery: Once both sides have fired their opening volleys in the form of the complaint and answer, the next procedure in civil litigation in Stoughton, 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: it's truly very uncommon for lawsuits to go trial in Stoughton, Massachusetts, because the rules of civil procedure in Stoughton, and nearly everywhere else, encourage speedy resolution of legal disputes, before they ever see the inside of a courtroom. This is largely done by judges dismissing cases that clearly have no merit, or the parties settling out of court. Nonetheless, when neither of these things is possible, both sides of the lawsuit will have to hash it out in a trial, which can be the most stressful and expensive step in the process. It involves both sides of the case presenting their evidence and arguments to a jury and judge, and letting them determine the issues.
How Can a Stoughton, Massachusetts Lawyer Help?
If you're facing a lawsuit in Stoughton, Massachusetts whether as the plaintiff or defendant, you will have to interact with your jurisdiction's civil procedure rules.
Civil Procedure in Stoughton, Massachusetts can be pretty confusing. It's always a good idea to have a lawyer who can advise you on how best to deal with these civil procedure issues.