Litigation Lawyers in Helena
In Helena, Montana, "civil procedure" is a broad term that refers to all of the rules that govern the process of civil litigation. Procedural law (such as civil procedure) is distinguished from substantive law, which governs the rights and obligations that the civil justice system is designed to protect.
The rules of civil procedure in Helena, Montana are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, affordable, simple, and fair as possible.
Civil litigation in Helena, Montana is almost never a simple process. So, the rules governing this process can't always be simple, either. Remember, civil procedure covers every single step of the civil litigation process, which can drag on for years.
Major Helena, Montana Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The first, and perhaps most important, part of filing a lawsuit in Helena, Montana is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Helena, Montana that's responsible for handling civil trials. It lists everything that the plaintiff (the person who is suing) alleges against the defendant (the person the plaintiff is suing). Usually, but not always, the end of the complaint will contain a "prayer for relief." The prayer for relief is simply a statement of what the plaintiff is asking the court to do to remedy the harm that the defendant allegedly caused.
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 Helena, Montana 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's actually very uncommon for lawsuits to go trial in Helena, Montana, because the rules of civil procedure in Helena, and nearly everywhere else, encourage speedy resolution of legal disputes, before they ever see the inside of a courtroom. This is largely accomplished by judges dismissing cases that clearly have no merit, or the parties settling out of court. However, when neither of these things is possible, both sides of the lawsuit will have to hash it out in a trial, which can be the most stressful and expensive step in the process. It involves both sides of the case presenting their evidence and arguments to a jury and judge, and letting them decide the issues.
How Can a Helena, Montana Lawyer Help?
If you're facing a lawsuit in Helena, Montana whether as the plaintiff or defendant, you will have to deal with your jurisdiction's civil procedure rules.
Civil Procedure in Helena, Montana can be pretty complicated. It's always a good idea to have a lawyer who can advise you on how best to deal with these civil procedure issues.