Litigation Lawyers in Cape Girardeau
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that regulate the process of civil litigation in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. It does not deal with the substantive rights that the litigation system is meant to safeguard, just the process by which it protects them.
Cape Girardeau, Missouri'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 Cape Girardeau, Missouri, civil litigation is frequently extremely difficult. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly intricate. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.
Major Cape Girardeau, Missouri Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: When somebody believes that they have suffered a legal wrong in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and decide to file a lawsuit, the initial document that they file with the court is normally the complaint. The complaint is very significant, because it can frame the factual and legal issues, and set the tone, for the rest of the process. The complaint usually contains every factual allegation against the defendant that forms the basis of the plaintiff's lawsuit. It also contains a prayer for relief, in which the plaintiff lays out his or her desired remedies, if the court finds the defendant liable.
Answer: The answer is a document filed by the defendant, in response to a complaint. The answer normally contains a few things: usually, it denies most of the allegations made by the plaintiff. If it does not deny the factual assertions in the complaint, it will normally 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: The civil procedure rules in Cape Girardeau, Missouri were written with the purpose of, among other things, preventing 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 procedure, during which the attorneys for both sides are obligated to disclose (with some exemptions) all information relevant to the trial which they have in their possession. These disclosures come in several 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 Cape Girardeau, Missouri to go to trial. Cape Girardeau'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. Nonetheless, if this is not possible, the matter will go to trial, where a judge and/or jury will decide the factual questions, and then award the appropriate relief (if any) to the prevailing party.
How Can a Cape Girardeau, Missouri Lawyer Help?
If you are facing a legal issue of any sort in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, you are going to face civil procedure issues.
The rules of civil procedure in Cape Girardeau, Missouri are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a seasoned attorney on your side, to help you through the process.