Litigation Lawyers in Greenbelt
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that regulate the process of civil litigation in Greenbelt, 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 Greenbelt, Maryland 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.
Civil litigation, however, is inherently complicated. So, there is no getting around the fact that the civil procedure rules in Greenbelt, Maryland are also going to be somewhat confusing 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 Greenbelt, Maryland Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most significant part of filing a lawsuit in Greenbelt, Maryland is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Greenbelt, 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: 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 the initial documents have been filed by both parties in the proper Greenbelt, Maryland court, the discovery process begins. "Discovery" refers to a wide range of disclosures that each side of the lawsuit must make to the other. Basically, 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 procedure: each side can send written questions to the other, which must be answered under oath. They can additionally 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 Greenbelt, Maryland to go to trial. Greenbelt's civil procedure rules truly discourage trials, and alternatively have designed the system so that it's almost always more cost-effective to settle out of court. Nonetheless, if this is not possible, the matter will go to trial, where a judge and/or jury will decide the factual questions, and then award the appropriate relief (if any) to the prevailing party.
How Can a Greenbelt, Maryland Lawyer Help?
If you're suing anyone, or are being sued, in Greenbelt, Maryland, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
Civil Procedure in Greenbelt, Maryland 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.