Litigation Lawyers in Bradford
"Civil procedure" in Bradford, Pennsylvania is a very broad term, and it refers to the wide variety of rules that regulate 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 Bradford, Pennsylvania are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, inexpensive, simple, and fair as possible.
Civil litigation in Bradford, 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 Bradford, Pennsylvania Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: When somebody believes that they have suffered a legal wrong in Bradford, Pennsylvania, and decide to file a lawsuit, the initial document that they file with the court is usually the complaint. The complaint is very significant, because it can frame the factual and legal issues, and set the tone, for the rest of the process. The complaint typically contains every factual allegation against the defendant that forms the basis of the plaintiff's lawsuit. It also contains a prayer for relief, in which the plaintiff lays out his or her desired remedies, if the court finds the defendant liable.
Answer: The answer is a document filed by the defendant, in response to a complaint. The answer usually contains a few things: typically, it denies most of the allegations made by the plaintiff. If it does not deny the factual assertions in the complaint, it will usually 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: Once the initial documents have been filed by both parties in the proper Bradford, Pennsylvania court, the discovery process begins. "Discovery" refers to a wide range of disclosures that each side of the lawsuit must make to the other. Basically, everyone involved in the lawsuit has to disclose every piece of information in their possession (with some exceptions) that's relevant to the factual issues in the case. There are a few different methods that are employed in this procedure: each side can send written questions to the other, which must be answered under oath. They can also request documents, as well as access to physical evidence. They can also conduct depositions (in-person Q&A sessions) of parties and witnesses.
Trial: It's quite rare for lawsuits in Bradford, Pennsylvania to go to trial. Bradford's civil procedure rules actually discourage trials, and instead 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 Bradford, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
If you're facing a lawsuit in Bradford, Pennsylvania whether as the plaintiff or defendant, you will have to interact with your jurisdiction's civil procedure rules.
Because the rules of civil procedure in Bradford, Pennsylvania are complex, it's smart to have the counsel of an experienced attorney through every step of the process.