Litigation Lawyers in Hamilton County
In Hamilton County, Ohio, "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 safeguard.
Hamilton County, Ohio'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.
In Hamilton County, Ohio, civil litigation is usually extremely difficult. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly intricate. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.
Major Hamilton County, Ohio Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most significant part of filing a lawsuit in Hamilton County, Ohio is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Hamilton County, Ohio 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: The answer is normally the first document that the defendant files, and it is meant to serve as a direct response to the plaintiff's complaint. It normally denies all of the plaintiff's major allegations. It might also lay out affirmative defenses. An "affirmative defense" is a set of reasons that negate the defendant's liability even if their conduct would ordinarily be unlawful. For example, in a lawsuit for battery, a defendant might admit that he struck the plaintiff, but claim that he acted in self-defense. If that can be shown, it would negate, or mitigate, his liability to the plaintiff.
Discovery: Once both sides have fired their opening volleys in the form of the complaint and answer, the next procedure in civil litigation in Hamilton County, Ohio is discovery. Under the civil procedure rules of most jurisdictions in the U.S., each side of a lawsuit is obligated 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: Although the trial is arguably the most dramatic element of civil procedure in Hamilton County, Ohio, it is really very rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in Hamilton County is designed to encourage early settlement of cases, or dismissal of cases that don't have any legal or factual merit. Nonetheless, in the rare cases when the case is not dismissed, and the parties can't reach a settlement, the matter will go to trial. A trial is the most visible aspect of civil litigation, and it is the stage when all of the legal and factual questions raised by both parties are resolved by a judge and jury, respectively.
How Can a Hamilton County, Ohio Lawyer Help?
If you're suing anyone, or are being sued, in Hamilton County, Ohio, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
The rules of civil procedure in Hamilton County, Ohio are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a seasoned attorney on your side, to help you through the process.