Litigation Lawyers in Rochester
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Rochester, 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.
Rochester, Minnesota'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.
In Rochester, Minnesota, civil litigation is typically extremely complicated. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly complex. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.
Major Rochester, Minnesota Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most important part of filing a lawsuit in Rochester, Minnesota is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Rochester, 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: 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: Once both sides have fired their opening volleys in the form of the complaint and answer, the next process in civil litigation in Rochester, Minnesota 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: Although the trial is arguably the most dramatic element of civil procedure in Rochester, Minnesota, it is actually extremely rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in Rochester is designed to encourage early settlement of cases, or dismissal of cases that don't have any legal or factual merit. However, in the rare cases when the case is not dismissed, and the parties can't reach a settlement, the matter will go to trial. A trial is the most visible aspect of civil litigation, and it is the stage when all of the legal and factual questions raised by both parties are resolved by a judge and jury, respectively.
How Can a Rochester, Minnesota Lawyer Help?
If you are facing a legal issue of any kind in Rochester, Minnesota, you are going to encounter civil procedure issues.
It should go without saying that you should have a Rochester, Minnesota attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost certain to face, if you're involved in a lawsuit.