Litigation Lawyers in Poughkeepsie
In Poughkeepsie, 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.
Poughkeepsie, 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.
Poughkeepsie, 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 Poughkeepsie, New York Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The complaint is probably the most important document that the plaintiff will file in a Poughkeepsie, New York 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: 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 Poughkeepsie, 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 truly very uncommon for lawsuits to go trial in Poughkeepsie, New York, because the rules of civil procedure in Poughkeepsie, 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 Poughkeepsie, New York Lawyer Help?
If you are facing a legal issue of any kind in Poughkeepsie, New York, you are going to confront civil procedure issues.
The rules of civil procedure in Poughkeepsie, 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.