Litigation Lawyers in Butler County
"Civil procedure" in Butler County, 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 Butler County, Pennsylvania are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, inexpensive, simple, and fair as possible.
Civil litigation in Butler County, 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 Butler County, Pennsylvania Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: When somebody believes that they have suffered a legal wrong in Butler County, Pennsylvania, and decide to file a lawsuit, the initial document that they file with the court is normally 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 usually 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 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: The civil procedure rules in Butler County, Pennsylvania were written with the purpose of, among other things, preventing surprises. For that reason, everyone immersed in a lawsuit goes into trial with a pretty good idea of what evidence the other side has. This is largely because of the discovery procedure, during which the attorneys for both sides are obligated to disclose (with some exemptions) all information relevant to the trial which they have in their possession. These disclosures come in several forms, such as simply sending boxes of documents, deposing witnesses, or submitting written questions to the other side, which the recipient is obligated to answer under oath.
Trial: In Butler County, Pennsylvania, it's really very 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 Butler County are particularly meant to encourage early resolution of legal disputes, without resorting to a costly and time-consuming trial. Nonetheless, 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 gained 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 Butler County, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any considerable legal issue in Butler County, Pennsylvania, you can be pretty much sure that you'll face at least a few procedural complications that can hold up the process.
Because the rules of civil procedure in Butler County, Pennsylvania are complicated, it's smart to have the counsel of an accomplished attorney through every step of the process.