Litigation Lawyers in Canton
In Canton, New York, "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.
Like all laws, the rules of civil procedure in Canton, New York reflect specific values that society, through its elected representatives, wants to advocate. 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.
Civil litigation in Canton, New York 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 Canton, New York Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most important part of filing a lawsuit in Canton, New York is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Canton, New York court that lays out the plaintiff's (the person filing the suit) allegations against the defendant (the person being sued), as well as the relief that the plaintiff is seeking from the court.
Answer: For the defendant, the answer is typically the first document they file in a lawsuit. As the name suggests, it "answers" the plaintiff's complaint. The answer normally denies most, or all, of the allegations made by the plaintiff. If the allegations are factually correct, and the defendant knows this, the defendant might admit that the allegations are true, but because of extenuating circumstances, they should not be held liable. For example, in a lawsuit for battery, a defendant might admit that they did strike the plaintiff, but claim that they were acting in self-defense, which would negate or weaken the plaintiff's case.
Discovery: After the complaint has been filed in the Canton, New York court of competent jurisdiction, the next major 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 quite rare for lawsuits in Canton, New York to go to trial. Canton's civil procedure rules truly discourage trials, and alternatively 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 Canton, New York Lawyer Help?
If you're suing someone, or are being sued, in Canton, New York, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
The rules of civil procedure in Canton, New York are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side, to help you through the process.