Litigation Lawyers in Lake County
In Lake 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 protect.
Lake 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 Lake County, Ohio, civil litigation is often extremely convoluted. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly difficult. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.
Major Lake County, Ohio Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The first, and perhaps most important, part of filing a lawsuit in Lake County, Ohio is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Lake County, Ohio 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). Normally, 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: The answer is a document filed by the defendant, in response to a complaint. The answer normally contains a few things: usually, it denies most of the allegations made by the plaintiff. If it does not deny the factual assertions in the complaint, it will normally raise legal defenses, known as affirmative defenses, arguing that even if everything the plaintiff alleges is true, the defendant should not be held liable, because of extenuating circumstances.
Discovery: After the complaint has been filed in the Lake County, Ohio 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 received by sending the other side written questions, which must be answered under oath, demanding access to documents, and deposing witnesses.
Trial: It's quite rare for lawsuits in Lake County, Ohio to go to trial. Lake County's civil procedure rules really discourage trials, and rather have designed the system so that it's almost always more cost-effective to settle out of court. However, if this is not possible, the matter will go to trial, where a judge and/or jury will determine the factual questions, and then award the appropriate relief (if any) to the prevailing party.
How Can a Lake County, Ohio Lawyer Help?
If you're suing someone, or are being sued, in Lake County, Ohio, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
Because the rules of civil procedure in Lake County, Ohio are complicated, it's smart to have the counsel of an accomplished attorney through every step of the process.