Litigation Lawyers in Westbrook
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Westbrook, 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 Westbrook, 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 in Westbrook, Maine is almost never a simple process. So, the rules governing this process can't always be simple, either. Remember, civil procedure covers every single step of the civil litigation process, which can drag on for years.
Major Westbrook, Maine Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The first, and perhaps most important, part of filing a lawsuit in Westbrook, Maine is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Westbrook, 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). Typically, but not always, the end of the complaint will contain a "prayer for relief." The prayer for relief is simply 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 typically contains a few things: normally, it denies most of the allegations made by the plaintiff. If it does not deny the factual assertions in the complaint, it will typically 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 Westbrook, Maine were written with the purpose of, among other things, avoiding surprises. For that reason, everyone engaged 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 process, during which the attorneys for both sides are required to disclose (with some exemptions) all information relevant to the trial which they have in their possession. These disclosures come in multiple 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: Although the trial is arguably the most dramatic element of civil procedure in Westbrook, Maine, it is truly extremely rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in Westbrook is designed to encourage early settlement of cases, or dismissal of cases that don't have any legal or factual merit. However, 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 Westbrook, Maine Lawyer Help?
If you're facing a lawsuit in Westbrook, Maine whether as the plaintiff or defendant, you will have to deal with your jurisdiction's civil procedure rules.
In Westbrook, Maine, procedural dilemmas can derail an otherwise-valid case. They can also be some of the most obtuse and convoluted issues in the whole case. Consequently, you should not go into something like this without the counsel of an attorney.