Litigation Lawyers in St. Paul
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in St. Paul, 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.
St. Paul, 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 St. Paul, Minnesota, civil litigation is often 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 St. Paul, Minnesota Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most important part of filing a lawsuit in St. Paul, Minnesota is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a St. Paul, 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: 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: After the complaint has been filed in the St. Paul, Minnesota court of competent jurisdiction, the next major phase is the discovery process. In a civil lawsuit, there are not supposed to be any surprises (so the dramatic moments you see in TV trials are largely fiction). This predictability largely comes from the discovery process. Each side of the lawsuit has to disclose information relevant to the lawsuit to the other. This information can be received by sending the other side written questions, which must be answered under oath, demanding access to documents, and deposing witnesses.
Trial: It's quite rare for lawsuits in St. Paul, Minnesota to go to trial. St. Paul's civil procedure rules really discourage trials, and rather 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 St. Paul, Minnesota Lawyer Help?
If you're suing someone, or are being sued, in St. Paul, Minnesota, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
The rules of civil procedure in St. Paul, 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.