Litigation Lawyers in Valdese
In Valdese, 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.
In Valdese, North Carolina, the civil procedure rules are meant to ensure that the civil litigation system is as efficient, accessible, fair, and affordable as possible.
Valdese, North Carolina's civil procedure rules can get pretty perplexing, however. They govern every aspect of a civil action, from the filing of the complaint, to discovery, and all the way through trial and appeals.
Major Valdese, North Carolina Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: In Valdese, North Carolina the initial step in suing somebody (after speaking with a lawyer to determine if you have a case) is usually filing a complaint. The complaint is also one of the most significant documents in the civil litigation process. By laying out the wrongs that the plaintiff alleges the defendant has committed, as well as the remedies that the plaintiff wants the court to provide, it can set the tone for the entire 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: Once the complaint and answer have been filed in a Valdese, North Carolina court, the next major civil procedure issue comes up. Discovery is the procedure in which both sides of the lawsuit are obligated to disclose obligated 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 actually very uncommon for lawsuits to go trial in Valdese, North Carolina, because the rules of civil procedure in Valdese, and nearly everywhere else, encourage speedy resolution of legal disputes, before they ever see the inside of a courtroom. This is largely done by judges dismissing cases that clearly have no merit, or the parties settling out of court. Nonetheless, 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 determine the issues.
How Can a Valdese, North Carolina Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any significant legal issue in Valdese, North Carolina, you can be pretty much sure that you'll face at least a few procedural complications that can hold up the process.
The rules of civil procedure in Valdese, North Carolina are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a reputable attorney on your side, to help you through the process.