Litigation Lawyers in Towson
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that regulate the process of civil litigation in Towson, 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 Towson, 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 Towson, 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 Towson, Maryland Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The initial, and perhaps most significant, part of filing a lawsuit in Towson, Maryland is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Towson, 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: 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 both sides have fired their opening volleys in the form of the complaint and answer, the next procedure in civil litigation in Towson, Maryland 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 is really quite rare for civil lawsuits in Towson, Maryland to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Towson 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 Towson, Maryland Lawyer Help?
If you're suing anyone, or are being sued, in Towson, Maryland, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
The rules of civil procedure in Towson, 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.