Litigation Lawyers in Ellsworth

"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Ellsworth, Maine. 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 Ellsworth, Maine 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 confusing. So, there is no getting around the fact that the civil procedure rules in Ellsworth, Maine are also going to be somewhat intricate 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 Ellsworth, Maine Civil Procedure Issues

Complaint: In Ellsworth, Maine the first step in suing somebody (after speaking with a lawyer to determine if you have a case) is typically filing a complaint. The complaint is also one of the most important documents in the civil litigation process. By laying out the wrongs that the plaintiff alleges the defendant has committed, as well as the remedies that the plaintiff wants the court to provide, it can set the tone for the entire rest of the case.

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, typically 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 establish that he acted in self-defense, he likely will not be held liable.

Discovery: Once the complaint and answer have been filed in a Ellsworth, Maine court, the next major civil procedure issue comes up. Discovery is the process in which both sides of the lawsuit are required to disclose required evidence to one another. The lawyers for each side can submit written questions, which the other party is required to answer under oath, unless the information is privileged. Each side can also request any relevant documents, physical evidence, and can conduct depositions of witnesses and parties to the lawsuit.

Trial: In Ellsworth, Maine, it's truly extremely rare for civil lawsuits to go to trial. Of all the lawsuits that are filed, only a tiny minority make it to trial. The majority are either dismissed, or settled. This is by design: the civil procedure rules in Ellsworth are specifically meant to encourage early resolution of legal disputes, without resorting to a costly and time-consuming trial. However, when a case does go to trial, it is for the purpose of a jury resolving all of the factual disputes between the parties. Each side will present evidence obtained through the discovery process, call witnesses, and make arguments on behalf of their position. Once the jury reaches a verdict (a finding of fact), the judge enters a judgment on the verdict.

How Can a Ellsworth, Maine Lawyer Help?

If you're facing any substantial legal issue in Ellsworth, Maine, you can be pretty much certain that you'll face at least a few procedural complications that can hold up the process.

Because the rules of civil procedure in Ellsworth, Maine are intricate, it's smart to have the counsel of an efficient attorney through every step of the process.