Litigation Lawyers in Clayton
"Civil procedure" refers to the wide variety of rules that govern the process of civil litigation in Clayton, 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.
Clayton, 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 Clayton, Missouri, 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 Clayton, Missouri Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: When somebody believes that they have suffered a legal wrong in Clayton, 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 both sides have fired their opening volleys in the form of the complaint and answer, the next process in civil litigation in Clayton, Missouri 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: It is really quite rare for civil lawsuits in Clayton, Missouri to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Clayton 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 Clayton, Missouri Lawyer Help?
If you are dealing with a lawsuit in Clayton, Missouri, it's almost certain that you will have to deal with issues concerning civil procedure.
It should go without saying that you should have a Clayton, Missouri attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost certain to face, if you're immersed in a lawsuit.