Litigation Lawyers in Hillsborough
In Hillsborough, New Hampshire, "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.
In Hillsborough, New Hampshire, the civil procedure rules are meant to ensure that the civil litigation system is as efficient, accessible, fair, and inexpensive as possible.
Civil litigation in Hillsborough, New Hampshire 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 Hillsborough, New Hampshire Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: When somebody believes that they have suffered a legal wrong in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, and decide to file a lawsuit, the first document that they file with the court is typically 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 normally 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: Once the complaint is filed, the ball is in the defendant's court, so to speak. In the answer, the defendant has an opportunity to respond to all of the factual allegations made by the plaintiff, typically by denying them. The defendant might also raise affirmative defenses, which could prevent the defendant from being held liable. For example, if the defendant is accused of battery, and he did, in fact, batter the plaintiff, he might admit to that fact, but claim that the plaintiff was the aggressor, and he acted purely in self-defense. If he can establish that he acted in self-defense, he likely will not be held liable.
Discovery: Once the initial documents have been filed by both parties in the correct Hillsborough, New Hampshire court, the discovery process begins. "Discovery" refers to a wide range of disclosures that each side of the lawsuit must make to the other. Essentially, everyone involved in the lawsuit has to disclose every piece of information in their possession (with some exceptions) that's relevant to the factual issues in the case. There are a few different methods that are employed in this process: each side can send written questions to the other, which must be answered under oath. They can additionally request documents, as well as access to physical evidence. They can also conduct depositions (in-person Q&A sessions) of parties and witnesses.
Trial: It is truly quite rare for civil lawsuits in Hillsborough, New Hampshire to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Hillsborough 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 Hillsborough, New Hampshire Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any substantial legal issue in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, you can be pretty much certain that you'll face at least a few procedural complications that can hold up the process.
Because the rules of civil procedure in Hillsborough, New Hampshire are intricate, it's smart to have the counsel of an efficient attorney through every step of the process.