Litigation Lawyers in Gastonia
In Gastonia, North Carolina, "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 safeguard.
The rules of civil procedure in Gastonia, North Carolina are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, low-cost, simple, and fair as possible.
Civil litigation in Gastonia, North Carolina is almost never a simple process. So, the rules controlling this process can't always be simple, either. Remember, civil procedure governs every single step of the civil litigation process, which can drag on for years.
Major Gastonia, North Carolina Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The complaint is probably the most important document that the plaintiff will file in a Gastonia, North Carolina lawsuit, and it is usually 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. Therefore, it can frame the tone, as well as the legal and factual issues, that will dominate the rest of the case.
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 reasons 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 shown, it would negate, or mitigate, his liability to the plaintiff.
Discovery: The civil procedure rules in Gastonia, North Carolina were written with the purpose of, among other things, preventing surprises. For that reason, everyone involved 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: Although the trial is arguably the most dramatic element of civil procedure in Gastonia, North Carolina, it is actually very rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in Gastonia is designed to encourage early settlement of cases, or dismissal of cases that don't have any legal or factual merit. Nonetheless, in the rare cases when the case is not dismissed, and the parties can't reach a settlement, the matter will go to trial. A trial is the most visible aspect of civil litigation, and it is the stage when all of the legal and factual questions raised by both parties are resolved by a judge and jury, respectively.
How Can a Gastonia, North Carolina Lawyer Help?
If you are facing a legal issue of any sort in Gastonia, North Carolina, you are going to encounter civil procedure issues.
It should go without saying that you should have a Gastonia, North Carolina attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost sure to face, if you're involved in a lawsuit.