Litigation Lawyers in Elizabeth City
In Elizabeth City, North Carolina, "civil procedure" is a broad term that refers to all of the laws that regulate the process of civil litigation. Procedural law (such as civil procedure) is distinguished from substantive law, which regulates the rights and obligations that the civil justice system is designed to protect.
The rules of civil procedure in Elizabeth City, North Carolina are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, affordable, simple, and fair as possible.
Civil litigation in Elizabeth City, North Carolina 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 Elizabeth City, North Carolina Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The complaint is probably the most important document that the plaintiff will file in an Elizabeth City, North Carolina lawsuit, and it is typically the first. The complaint contains all of the plaintiff's allegations against the defendant, as well as the relief that the plaintiff is asking the court to provide. Consequently, it can frame the tone, as well as the legal and factual issues, that will dominate the rest of the case.
Answer: For the defendant, the answer is typically the first document they file in a lawsuit. As the name suggests, it "answers" the plaintiff's complaint. The answer normally 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: The civil procedure rules in Elizabeth City, North Carolina were written with the purpose of, among other things, avoiding surprises. For that reason, everyone engaged 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 process, during which the attorneys for both sides are required to disclose (with some exemptions) all information relevant to the trial which they have in their possession. These disclosures come in multiple 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 Elizabeth City, North Carolina to go to trial. Elizabeth City's civil procedure rules truly discourage trials, and alternatively 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 Elizabeth City, North Carolina Lawyer Help?
If you're facing a lawsuit in Elizabeth City, North Carolina whether as the plaintiff or defendant, you will have to deal with your jurisdiction's civil procedure rules.
Civil Procedure in Elizabeth City, North Carolina can be pretty intricate. It's always a good idea to have a lawyer who can advise you on how best to deal with these civil procedure issues.