Litigation Lawyers in Portsmouth
In Portsmouth, 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 safeguard.
In Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the civil procedure rules are meant to ensure that the civil litigation system is as efficient, accessible, fair, and low-cost as possible.
Civil litigation in Portsmouth, New Hampshire 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 Portsmouth, New Hampshire Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The complaint is probably the most important document that the plaintiff will file in a Portsmouth, New Hampshire 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: The answer is a document filed by the defendant, in response to a complaint. The answer typically contains a few things: normally, it denies most of the allegations made by the plaintiff. If it does not deny the factual assertions in the complaint, it will typically raise legal defenses, known as affirmative defenses, arguing that even if everything the plaintiff alleges is true, the defendant should not be held liable, because of extenuating circumstances.
Discovery: After the complaint has been filed in the Portsmouth, New Hampshire court of competent jurisdiction, the next important phase is the discovery process. In a civil lawsuit, there are not supposed to be any surprises (so the dramatic moments you see in TV trials are largely fiction). This predictability largely comes from the discovery process. Each side of the lawsuit has to disclose information relevant to the lawsuit to the other. This information can be acquired by sending the other side written questions, which must be answered under oath, demanding access to documents, and deposing witnesses.
Trial: it's truly very uncommon for lawsuits to go trial in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, because the rules of civil procedure in Portsmouth, 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 Portsmouth, New Hampshire Lawyer Help?
If you are dealing with a lawsuit in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, it's almost given that you will have to deal with issues regarding civil procedure.
The rules of civil procedure in Portsmouth, New Hampshire are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a reliable attorney on your side, to help you through the process.