Litigation Lawyers in Hummelstown
"Civil procedure" in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania is a very broad term, and it refers to the wide variety of rules that govern how civil litigation is conducted. It is to be distinguished from substantive law, which governs the rights that civil litigation is meant to vindicate.
In Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, the civil procedure rules are meant to ensure that the civil litigation system is as efficient, accessible, fair, and cost-effective as possible.
Hummelstown, Pennsylvania's civil procedure rules can get pretty intricate, however. They regulate every aspect of a civil action, from the filing of the complaint, to discovery, and all the way through trial and appeals.
Major Hummelstown, Pennsylvania Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The complaint is probably the most important document that the plaintiff will file in a Hummelstown, Pennsylvania lawsuit, and it is typically the first. The complaint contains all of the plaintiff's allegations against the defendant, as well as the relief that the plaintiff is asking the court to provide. Consequently, it can frame the tone, as well as the legal and factual issues, that will dominate the rest of the case.
Answer: For the defendant, the answer is typically the first document they file in a lawsuit. As the name suggests, it "answers" the plaintiff's complaint. The answer normally denies most, or all, of the allegations made by the plaintiff. If the allegations are factually correct, and the defendant knows this, the defendant might admit that the allegations are true, but because of extenuating circumstances, they should not be held liable. For example, in a lawsuit for battery, a defendant might admit that they did strike the plaintiff, but claim that they were acting in self-defense, which would negate or weaken the plaintiff's case.
Discovery: The civil procedure rules in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania were written with the purpose of, among other things, avoiding surprises. For that reason, everyone engaged 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 process, during which the attorneys for both sides are required to disclose (with some exemptions) all information relevant to the trial which they have in their possession. These disclosures come in multiple 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: It is truly quite rare for civil lawsuits in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Hummelstown strongly encourage early resolution to cases by dismissal of lawsuits that have no merit, and negotiated settlement of those that do. However, when neither of those things happen, the case goes to trial. This is when a judge and jury decide the questions of law and fact, respectively, raised in the case. The jury then issues a verdict, based on the evidence presented to them.
How Can a Hummelstown, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
If you are dealing with a lawsuit in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, it's almost certain that you will have to deal with issues concerning civil procedure.
The rules of civil procedure in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side, to help you through the process.