Litigation Lawyers in Ellicott City
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Ellicott City, Maryland. 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 Ellicott City, Maryland 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.
Civil litigation, however, is inherently difficult. So, there is no getting around the fact that the civil procedure rules in Ellicott City, Maryland are also going to be somewhat convoluted 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 Ellicott City, Maryland Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most important part of filing a lawsuit in Ellicott City, Maryland is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with an Ellicott City, Maryland court that lays out the plaintiff's (the person filing the suit) allegations against the defendant (the person being sued), as well as the relief that the plaintiff is seeking from the court.
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, normally 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 show that he acted in self-defense, he likely will not be held liable.
Discovery: The civil procedure rules in Ellicott City, Maryland were written with the purpose of, among other things, avoiding surprises. For that reason, everyone immersed 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: It is really quite rare for civil lawsuits in Ellicott City, Maryland to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Ellicott City strongly encourage early resolution to cases by dismissal of lawsuits that have no merit, and negotiated settlement of those that do. However, when neither of those things happen, the case goes to trial. This is when a judge and jury decide 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 Ellicott City, Maryland Lawyer Help?
If you're facing a lawsuit in Ellicott City, Maryland whether as the plaintiff or defendant, you will have to deal with your jurisdiction's civil procedure rules.
In Ellicott City, Maryland, procedural pitfalls can derail an otherwise-valid case. They can also be some of the most obtuse and convoluted issues in the whole case. Thus, you should not go into something like this without the counsel of an attorney.