Litigation Lawyers in Waterville
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that regulate the process of civil litigation in Waterville, 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 Waterville, 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 Waterville, 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 Waterville, Maine Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The initial, and perhaps most significant, part of filing a lawsuit in Waterville, Maine is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Waterville, Maine 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). Usually, 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 usually contains a few things: typically, it denies most of the allegations made by the plaintiff. If it does not deny the factual assertions in the complaint, it will usually 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: Once both sides have fired their opening volleys in the form of the complaint and answer, the next procedure in civil litigation in Waterville, Maine 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: Although the trial is arguably the most dramatic element of civil procedure in Waterville, Maine, it is actually very rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in Waterville is designed to encourage early settlement of cases, or dismissal of cases that don't have any legal or factual merit. Nonetheless, in the rare cases when the case is not dismissed, and the parties can't reach a settlement, the matter will go to trial. A trial is the most visible aspect of civil litigation, and it is the stage when all of the legal and factual questions raised by both parties are resolved by a judge and jury, respectively.
How Can a Waterville, Maine Lawyer Help?
If you're suing anyone, or are being sued, in Waterville, Maine, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
The rules of civil procedure in Waterville, Maine are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a reputable attorney on your side, to help you through the process.