Litigation Lawyers in Watertown
In Watertown, New York, "civil procedure" is a broad term that refers to all of the statutes that control the process of civil litigation. Procedural law (such as civil procedure) is distinguished from substantive law, which covers the rights and obligations that the civil justice system is designed to protect.
Watertown, New York's government strives to make the civil justice system fair, efficient, and accessible. The rules of civil procedure are designed to encourage those goals, to the greatest extent possible.
The rules of civil procedure in Watertown, New York are sometimes convoluted. Because civil litigation is an inherently complicated 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 Watertown, New York Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most important part of filing a lawsuit in Watertown, New York is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Watertown, 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: After the plaintiff files the complaint, the defendant has to act. While they have a few options at this stage of the game, most defendants elect to file an answer. The answer is the defendant's first direct response to the plaintiff's allegations. Sometimes, the answer contains a general denial, in which the defendant simply denies everything the plaintiff alleges. It might also contain a point-by-point addressing of every allegation the plaintiff makes, denying some, and admitting some.
Discovery: Once both sides have fired their opening volleys in the form of the complaint and answer, the next process in civil litigation in Watertown, New York is discovery. Under the civil procedure rules of most jurisdictions in the U.S., each side of a lawsuit is required by law to disclose relevant information to the other side. These disclosures come in the form of depositions, the production of documents, and answers to written questions submitted by opposing counsel.
Trial: In Watertown, New York, it's really extremely rare for civil lawsuits to go to trial. Of all the lawsuits that are filed, only a tiny minority make it to trial. The majority are either dismissed, or settled. This is by design: the civil procedure rules in Watertown are specifically meant to encourage early resolution of legal disputes, without resorting to a costly and time-consuming trial. However, when a case does go to trial, it is for the purpose of a jury resolving all of the factual disputes between the parties. Each side will present evidence obtained through the discovery process, call witnesses, and make arguments on behalf of their position. Once the jury reaches a verdict (a finding of fact), the judge enters a judgment on the verdict.
How Can a Watertown, New York Lawyer Help?
If you are dealing with a lawsuit in Watertown, New York, it's almost certain that you will have to deal with issues concerning civil procedure.
It should go without saying that you should have a Watertown, New York attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost certain to face, if you're immersed in a lawsuit.