Litigation Lawyers in Oakland County
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Oakland County, 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.
Oakland County, 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.
Oakland County, 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 Oakland County, Michigan Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: When somebody believes that they have suffered a legal wrong in Oakland County, Michigan, and decide to file a lawsuit, the first document that they file with the court is usually the complaint. The complaint is very important, because it can frame the factual and legal issues, and set the tone, for the rest of the process. The complaint typically contains every factual allegation against the defendant that forms the basis of the plaintiff's lawsuit. It also contains a prayer for relief, in which the plaintiff lays out his or her desired remedies, if the court finds the defendant liable.
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 the complaint and answer have been filed in an Oakland County, Michigan 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 Oakland County, 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 Oakland County 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 received 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 Oakland County, Michigan Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any significant legal issue in Oakland County, Michigan, you can be pretty much certain that you'll face at least a few procedural complications that can hold up the process.
Civil Procedure in Oakland County, Michigan can be pretty complicated. It's always a good idea to have a lawyer who can advise you on how best to deal with these civil procedure issues.