Litigation Lawyers in Huntingdon
"Civil procedure" in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania is a very broad term, and it refers to the wide variety of rules that govern how civil litigation is done. It is to be distinguished from substantive law, which controls the rights that civil litigation is meant to vindicate.
In Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, the civil procedure rules are meant to ensure that the civil litigation system is as efficient, accessible, fair, and affordable as possible.
Huntingdon, Pennsylvania's civil procedure rules can get pretty confusing, 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 Huntingdon, Pennsylvania Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The complaint is probably the most important document that the plaintiff will file in a Huntingdon, 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 instance, 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 Huntingdon, Pennsylvania were written with the purpose of, among other things, preventing 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 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: It is truly quite rare for civil lawsuits in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Huntingdon highly encourage early resolution to cases by dismissal of lawsuits that have no merit, and negotiated settlement of those that do. Nonetheless, when neither of those things happen, the case goes to trial. This is when a judge and jury determine 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 Huntingdon, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
If you're facing a lawsuit in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania whether as the plaintiff or defendant, you will have to interact with your jurisdiction's civil procedure rules.
It should go without saying that you should have a Huntingdon, Pennsylvania attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost sure to face, if you're engaged in a lawsuit.