Litigation Lawyers in Chesterfield
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Chesterfield, Missouri. It does not deal with the substantive rights that the litigation system is meant to protect, just the process by which it protects them.
Chesterfield, 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 Chesterfield, Missouri, 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 Chesterfield, Missouri Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: When somebody believes that they have suffered a legal wrong in Chesterfield, Missouri, and decide to file a lawsuit, the first document that they file with the court is normally the complaint. The complaint is very important, 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: 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: Once the complaint and answer have been filed in a Chesterfield, Missouri court, the next major civil procedure issue comes up. Discovery is the process in which both sides of the lawsuit are required to disclose required evidence to one another. The lawyers for each side can submit written questions, which the other party is required to answer under oath, unless the information is privileged. Each side can also request any relevant documents, physical evidence, and can conduct depositions of witnesses and parties to the lawsuit.
Trial: It's quite rare for lawsuits in Chesterfield, Missouri to go to trial. Chesterfield'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 Chesterfield, Missouri Lawyer Help?
If you're suing someone, or are being sued, in Chesterfield, Missouri, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
The rules of civil procedure in Chesterfield, Missouri 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.