Litigation Lawyers in Englewood Cliffs
In Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, "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.
Like all laws, the rules of civil procedure in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey reflect certain values that society, through its elected representatives, wants to promote. So, the rules of civil procedure have the stated goal of ensuring that the justice system is fair, cost effective, efficient, and accessible to everyone who has a legitimate legal grievance.
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey'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 Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The initial, and perhaps most significant, part of filing a lawsuit in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey that's responsible for handling civil trials. It lists everything that the plaintiff (the person who is suing) alleges against the defendant (the person the plaintiff is suing). Usually, but not always, the end of the complaint will contain a "prayer for relief." The prayer for relief is just a statement of what the plaintiff is asking the court to do to remedy the harm that the defendant allegedly caused.
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 Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey 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: It's quite rare for lawsuits in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey to go to trial. Englewood Cliffs's civil procedure rules actually discourage trials, and instead have designed the system so that it's almost always more cost-effective to settle out of court. Nonetheless, if this is not possible, the matter will go to trial, where a judge and/or jury will decide the factual questions, and then award the appropriate relief (if any) to the prevailing party.
How Can a Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey Lawyer Help?
If you are facing a legal issue of any sort in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, you are going to encounter civil procedure issues.
Because the rules of civil procedure in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey are complex, it's smart to have the counsel of an experienced attorney through every step of the process.