Litigation Lawyers in Suffolk County
In Suffolk County, 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 safeguard.
Suffolk County, 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.
The rules of civil procedure in Suffolk County, New York are sometimes confusing. Because civil litigation is an inherently intricate process, the rules that govern how it proceeds can't be simple, either. They govern every step of the litigation process, from filing the initial complaint, all the way to the final appeals process.
Major Suffolk County, New York Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most significant part of filing a lawsuit in Suffolk County, New York is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Suffolk County, New York court that lays out the plaintiff's (the individual filing the suit) allegations against the defendant (the individual being sued), as well as the relief that the plaintiff is seeking from the court.
Answer: Once the complaint is filed, the ball is in the defendant's court, so to speak. In the answer, the defendant has an chance 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 keep the defendant from being held liable. For instance, 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: After the complaint has been filed in the Suffolk County, New York court of competent jurisdiction, the next important 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 is truly quite rare for civil lawsuits in Suffolk County, New York to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Suffolk County highly encourage early resolution to cases by dismissal of lawsuits that have no merit, and negotiated settlement of those that do. Nonetheless, when neither of those things happen, the case goes to trial. This is when a judge and jury determine the questions of law and fact, respectively, raised in the case. The jury then issues a verdict, based on the evidence presented to them.
How Can a Suffolk County, New York Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any substantial legal issue in Suffolk County, New York, you can be pretty much sure that you'll face at least a few procedural complications that can hold up the process.
It should go without saying that you should have a Suffolk County, New York attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost sure to face, if you're engaged in a lawsuit.