Litigation Lawyers in Bowie
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that regulate the process of civil litigation in Bowie, Maryland. 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 Bowie, Maryland 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.
Civil litigation, however, is inherently perplexing. So, there is no getting around the fact that the civil procedure rules in Bowie, Maryland are also going to be somewhat perplexing and obtuse (or at least parts of them are). Remember, these rules govern every single thing that happens in a civil lawsuit, from the first complaint, to the last appeal.
Major Bowie, Maryland Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most significant part of filing a lawsuit in Bowie, Maryland is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Bowie, Maryland court that lays out the plaintiff's (the individual filing the suit) allegations against the defendant (the individual being sued), as well as the relief that the plaintiff is seeking from the court.
Answer: For the defendant, the answer is usually the first document they file in a lawsuit. As the name suggests, it "answers" the plaintiff's complaint. The answer typically 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: After the complaint has been filed in the Bowie, Maryland court of competent jurisdiction, the next important phase is the discovery process. In a civil lawsuit, there are not supposed to be any surprises (so the dramatic moments you see in TV trials are largely fiction). This predictability largely comes from the discovery process. Each side of the lawsuit has to disclose information relevant to the lawsuit to the other. This information can be obtained by sending the other side written questions, which must be answered under oath, demanding access to documents, and deposing witnesses.
Trial: It is actually quite rare for civil lawsuits in Bowie, Maryland to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Bowie highly encourage early resolution to cases by dismissal of lawsuits that have no merit, and negotiated settlement of those that do. Nonetheless, when neither of those things happen, the case goes to trial. This is when a judge and jury determine the questions of law and fact, respectively, raised in the case. The jury then issues a verdict, based on the evidence presented to them.
How Can a Bowie, Maryland Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any significant legal issue in Bowie, Maryland, you can be pretty much sure 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 Bowie, Maryland attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost sure to face, if you're involved in a lawsuit.