Litigation Lawyers in Kennebunk
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that regulate the process of civil litigation in Kennebunk, Maine. 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 Kennebunk, Maine reflect certain values that society, through its elected representatives, wants to promote. 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 in Kennebunk, Maine is almost never a simple process. So, the rules controlling this process can't always be simple, either. Remember, civil procedure governs every single step of the civil litigation process, which can drag on for years.
Major Kennebunk, Maine Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most significant part of filing a lawsuit in Kennebunk, Maine is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Kennebunk, Maine 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: For the defendant, the answer is usually the first document they file in a lawsuit. As the name suggests, it "answers" the plaintiff's complaint. The answer typically denies most, or all, of the allegations made by the plaintiff. If the allegations are factually correct, and the defendant knows this, the defendant might admit that the allegations are true, but because of extenuating circumstances, they should not be held liable. For instance, in a lawsuit for battery, a defendant might admit that they did strike the plaintiff, but claim that they were acting in self-defense, which would negate or weaken the plaintiff's case.
Discovery: After the complaint has been filed in the Kennebunk, Maine court of competent jurisdiction, the next important phase is the discovery process. In a civil lawsuit, there are not supposed to be any surprises (so the dramatic moments you see in TV trials are largely fiction). This predictability largely comes from the discovery process. Each side of the lawsuit has to disclose information relevant to the lawsuit to the other. This information can be obtained by sending the other side written questions, which must be answered under oath, demanding access to documents, and deposing witnesses.
Trial: It's quite rare for lawsuits in Kennebunk, Maine to go to trial. Kennebunk's civil procedure rules actually discourage trials, and instead 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 Kennebunk, Maine Lawyer Help?
If you're suing anyone, or are being sued, in Kennebunk, Maine, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
Civil Procedure in Kennebunk, Maine can be pretty perplexing. It's always a good idea to have a lawyer who can advise you on how best to deal with these civil procedure issues.