Litigation Lawyers in Hennepin County
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Hennepin County, Minnesota. It does not deal with the substantive rights that the litigation system is meant to protect, just the process by which it protects them.
Hennepin County, Minnesota's government strives to make the civil justice system fair, efficient, and accessible. The rules of civil procedure are designed to advocate those goals, to the greatest extent possible.
Civil litigation, however, is inherently confusing. So, there is no getting around the fact that the civil procedure rules in Hennepin County, Minnesota are also going to be somewhat intricate and obtuse (or at least parts of them are). Remember, these rules govern every single thing that happens in a civil lawsuit, from the first complaint, to the last appeal.
Major Hennepin County, Minnesota Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The complaint is probably the most important document that the plaintiff will file in a Hennepin County, Minnesota lawsuit, and it is typically 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. Consequently, 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 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: Once the initial documents have been filed by both parties in the correct Hennepin County, Minnesota court, the discovery process begins. "Discovery" refers to a wide range of disclosures that each side of the lawsuit must make to the other. Essentially, everyone involved in the lawsuit has to disclose every piece of information in their possession (with some exceptions) that's relevant to the factual issues in the case. There are a few different methods that are employed in this process: each side can send written questions to the other, which must be answered under oath. They can additionally request documents, as well as access to physical evidence. They can also conduct depositions (in-person Q&A sessions) of parties and witnesses.
Trial: In Hennepin County, Minnesota, it's truly 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 Hennepin 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 Hennepin County, Minnesota Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any substantial legal issue in Hennepin County, Minnesota, 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 Hennepin County, Minnesota can be pretty intricate. It's always a good idea to have a lawyer who can advise you on how best to deal with these civil procedure issues.