Litigation Lawyers in Blackwood
In Blackwood, New Jersey, "civil procedure" is a broad term that refers to all of the statutes that control the process of civil litigation. Procedural law (such as civil procedure) is distinguished from substantive law, which covers the rights and obligations that the civil justice system is designed to protect.
In Blackwood, New Jersey, 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 Blackwood, New Jersey 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 Blackwood, New Jersey Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The complaint is probably the most important document that the plaintiff will file in a Blackwood, New Jersey lawsuit, and it is normally 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. Thus, 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 normally the first document that the defendant files, and it is meant to serve as a direct response to the plaintiff's complaint. It normally denies all of the plaintiff's major allegations. It might also lay out affirmative defenses. An "affirmative defense" is a set of circumstances 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 proven, it would negate, or mitigate, his liability to the plaintiff.
Discovery: Once the complaint and answer have been filed in a Blackwood, New Jersey court, the next major civil procedure issue comes up. Discovery is the process in which both sides of the lawsuit are required to disclose required 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 quite rare for lawsuits in Blackwood, New Jersey to go to trial. Blackwood's civil procedure rules really discourage trials, and rather 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 Blackwood, New Jersey Lawyer Help?
If you're suing someone, or are being sued, in Blackwood, New Jersey, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
The rules of civil procedure in Blackwood, New Jersey are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a brilliant attorney on your side, to help you through the process.