Litigation Lawyers in Altoona
"Civil procedure" in Altoona, Pennsylvania is a very broad term, and it refers to the wide variety of rules that control how civil litigation is done. It is to be distinguished from substantive law, which controls the rights that civil litigation is meant to vindicate.
The rules of civil procedure in Altoona, Pennsylvania are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, inexpensive, simple, and fair as possible.
Civil litigation in Altoona, Pennsylvania is almost never a simple process. So, the rules controlling this process can't always be simple, either. Remember, civil procedure governs every single step of the civil litigation process, which can drag on for years.
Major Altoona, Pennsylvania Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The initial, and perhaps most significant, part of filing a lawsuit in Altoona, Pennsylvania is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Altoona, Pennsylvania 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 just 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 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 the complaint and answer have been filed in an Altoona, Pennsylvania court, the next major civil procedure issue comes up. Discovery is the procedure in which both sides of the lawsuit are obligated to disclose obligated evidence to one another. The lawyers for each side can submit written questions, which the other party is required to answer under oath, unless the information is privileged. Each side can also request any relevant documents, physical evidence, and can conduct depositions of witnesses and parties to the lawsuit.
Trial: It's quite rare for lawsuits in Altoona, Pennsylvania to go to trial. Altoona'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. Nonetheless, if this is not possible, the matter will go to trial, where a judge and/or jury will decide the factual questions, and then award the appropriate relief (if any) to the prevailing party.
How Can a Altoona, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
If you are dealing with a lawsuit in Altoona, Pennsylvania, it's almost given that you will have to deal with issues regarding civil procedure.
Civil Procedure in Altoona, Pennsylvania can be pretty difficult. It's always a good idea to have a lawyer who can advise you on how best to deal with these civil procedure issues.