Litigation Lawyers in Owings Mills
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that regulate the process of civil litigation in Owings Mills, 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 Owings Mills, 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 intricate. So, there is no getting around the fact that the civil procedure rules in Owings Mills, Maryland are also going to be somewhat difficult 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 Owings Mills, Maryland Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The initial, and perhaps most significant, part of filing a lawsuit in Owings Mills, Maryland is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Owings Mills, Maryland that's responsible for handling civil trials. It lists everything that the plaintiff (the person who is suing) alleges against the defendant (the person the plaintiff is suing). Normally, but not always, the end of the complaint will contain a "prayer for relief." The prayer for relief is just a statement of what the plaintiff is asking the court to do to remedy the harm that the defendant allegedly caused.
Answer: The answer is a document filed by the defendant, in response to a complaint. The answer normally contains a few things: usually, it denies most of the allegations made by the plaintiff. If it does not deny the factual assertions in the complaint, it will normally raise legal defenses, known as affirmative defenses, arguing that even if everything the plaintiff alleges is true, the defendant should not be held liable, because of extenuating circumstances.
Discovery: The civil procedure rules in Owings Mills, Maryland were written with the purpose of, among other things, preventing 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 procedure, during which the attorneys for both sides are obligated to disclose (with some exemptions) all information relevant to the trial which they have in their possession. These disclosures come in several 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's quite rare for lawsuits in Owings Mills, Maryland to go to trial. Owings Mills's civil procedure rules really discourage trials, and rather 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 Owings Mills, Maryland Lawyer Help?
If you are dealing with a lawsuit in Owings Mills, Maryland, it's almost given that you will have to deal with issues regarding civil procedure.
The rules of civil procedure in Owings Mills, Maryland are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a seasoned attorney on your side, to help you through the process.