Litigation Lawyers in Lansing
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Lansing, Michigan. It does not deal with the substantive rights that the litigation system is meant to protect, just the process by which it protects them.
Lansing, Michigan's government strives to make the civil justice system fair, efficient, and accessible. The rules of civil procedure are designed to promote those goals, to the greatest extent possible.
Lansing, Michigan's civil procedure rules can get pretty complicated, however. They govern every aspect of a civil action, from the filing of the complaint, to discovery, and all the way through trial and appeals.
Major Lansing, Michigan Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The first, and perhaps most important, part of filing a lawsuit in Lansing, Michigan is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Lansing, Michigan 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 simply 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 options 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. Sometimes, 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 process in civil litigation in Lansing, Michigan is discovery. Under the civil procedure rules of most jurisdictions in the U.S., each side of a lawsuit is required 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: In Lansing, Michigan, it's actually 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 Lansing 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 Lansing, Michigan Lawyer Help?
If you are facing a legal issue of any kind in Lansing, Michigan, you are going to encounter civil procedure issues.
In Lansing, Michigan, procedural pitfalls can derail an otherwise-valid case. They can also be some of the most obtuse and convoluted issues in the whole case. Therefore, you should not go into something like this without the counsel of an attorney.