Litigation Lawyers in Irwin
"Civil procedure" in Irwin, Pennsylvania is a very broad term, and it refers to the wide variety of rules that control 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 Irwin, Pennsylvania, the civil procedure rules are meant to ensure that the civil litigation system is as efficient, accessible, fair, and inexpensive as possible.
Irwin, Pennsylvania's civil procedure rules can get pretty convoluted, however. They control every aspect of a civil action, from the filing of the complaint, to discovery, and all the way through trial and appeals.
Major Irwin, Pennsylvania Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The complaint is probably the most important document that the plaintiff will file in an Irwin, Pennsylvania lawsuit, and it is normally 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. Thus, it can frame the tone, as well as the legal and factual issues, that will dominate the rest of the case.
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 circumstances 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 proven, it would negate, or mitigate, his liability to the plaintiff.
Discovery: Once the complaint and answer have been filed in an Irwin, Pennsylvania court, the next major civil procedure issue comes up. Discovery is the process in which both sides of the lawsuit are required to disclose required 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 Irwin, Pennsylvania to go to trial. Irwin'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. However, if this is not possible, the matter will go to trial, where a judge and/or jury will determine the factual questions, and then award the appropriate relief (if any) to the prevailing party.
How Can a Irwin, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
If you're suing someone, or are being sued, in Irwin, Pennsylvania, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
Because the rules of civil procedure in Irwin, Pennsylvania are complicated, it's smart to have the counsel of an accomplished attorney through every step of the process.