Litigation Lawyers in Owatonna
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Owatonna, 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.
Owatonna, Minnesota's government strives to make the civil justice system fair, efficient, and accessible. The rules of civil procedure are designed to encourage those goals, to the greatest extent possible.
In Owatonna, Minnesota, civil litigation is typically extremely convoluted. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly difficult. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.
Major Owatonna, Minnesota Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most important part of filing a lawsuit in Owatonna, Minnesota is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with an Owatonna, Minnesota court that lays out the plaintiff's (the person filing the suit) allegations against the defendant (the person being sued), as well as the relief that the plaintiff is seeking from the court.
Answer: For the defendant, the answer is normally the first document they file in a lawsuit. As the name suggests, it "answers" the plaintiff's complaint. The answer usually denies most, or all, of the allegations made by the plaintiff. If the allegations are factually correct, and the defendant knows this, the defendant might admit that the allegations are true, but because of extenuating circumstances, they should not be held liable. For example, in a lawsuit for battery, a defendant might admit that they did strike the plaintiff, but claim that they were acting in self-defense, which would negate or weaken the plaintiff's case.
Discovery: The civil procedure rules in Owatonna, Minnesota were written with the purpose of, among other things, avoiding surprises. For that reason, everyone immersed 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 is really quite rare for civil lawsuits in Owatonna, Minnesota to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Owatonna strongly encourage early resolution to cases by dismissal of lawsuits that have no merit, and negotiated settlement of those that do. However, when neither of those things happen, the case goes to trial. This is when a judge and jury decide the questions of law and fact, respectively, raised in the case. The jury then issues a verdict, based on the evidence presented to them.
How Can a Owatonna, Minnesota Lawyer Help?
If you are dealing with a lawsuit in Owatonna, Minnesota, it's almost certain that you will have to deal with issues concerning civil procedure.
The rules of civil procedure in Owatonna, Minnesota are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a brilliant attorney on your side, to help you through the process.