Litigation Lawyers in Mahopac
In Mahopac, 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.
Mahopac, New York's government strives to make the civil justice system fair, efficient, and accessible. The rules of civil procedure are designed to advocate those goals, to the greatest extent possible.
Mahopac, New York's civil procedure rules can get pretty intricate, however. They regulate every aspect of a civil action, from the filing of the complaint, to discovery, and all the way through trial and appeals.
Major Mahopac, New York Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The first, and perhaps most important, part of filing a lawsuit in Mahopac, New York is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Mahopac, New York 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). Typically, but not always, the end of the complaint will contain a "prayer for relief." The prayer for relief is simply a statement of what the plaintiff is asking the court to do to remedy the harm that the defendant allegedly caused.
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 complaint and answer have been filed in a Mahopac, New York 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 truly very uncommon for lawsuits to go trial in Mahopac, New York, because the rules of civil procedure in Mahopac, and nearly everywhere else, encourage speedy resolution of legal disputes, before they ever see the inside of a courtroom. This is largely accomplished by judges dismissing cases that clearly have no merit, or the parties settling out of court. However, 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 decide the issues.
How Can a Mahopac, New York Lawyer Help?
If you are dealing with a lawsuit in Mahopac, New York, it's almost certain that you will have to deal with issues concerning civil procedure.
The rules of civil procedure in Mahopac, 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.