Litigation Lawyers in Sterling Heights
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Sterling Heights, 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.
Sterling Heights, 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.
Sterling Heights, 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 Sterling Heights, Michigan Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The complaint is probably the most important document that the plaintiff will file in a Sterling Heights, Michigan lawsuit, and it is usually the first. The complaint contains all of the plaintiff's allegations against the defendant, as well as the relief that the plaintiff is asking the court to provide. Therefore, it can frame the tone, as well as the legal and factual issues, that will dominate the rest of the case.
Answer: The answer is usually the first document that the defendant files, and it is meant to serve as a direct response to the plaintiff's complaint. It usually denies all of the plaintiff's major allegations. It might also lay out affirmative defenses. An "affirmative defense" is a set of circumstances that negate the defendant's liability even if their conduct would ordinarily be unlawful. For example, in a lawsuit for battery, a defendant might admit that he struck the plaintiff, but claim that he acted in self-defense. If that can be proven, it would negate, or mitigate, his liability to the plaintiff.
Discovery: The civil procedure rules in Sterling Heights, Michigan were written with the purpose of, among other things, avoiding surprises. For that reason, everyone involved 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: It's quite rare for lawsuits in Sterling Heights, Michigan to go to trial. Sterling Heights'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. However, if this is not possible, the matter will go to trial, where a judge and/or jury will determine the factual questions, and then award the appropriate relief (if any) to the prevailing party.
How Can a Sterling Heights, Michigan Lawyer Help?
If you are dealing with a lawsuit in Sterling Heights, Michigan, it's almost certain that you will have to deal with issues concerning civil procedure.
It should go without saying that you should have a Sterling Heights, Michigan attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost certain to face, if you're involved in a lawsuit.