Litigation Lawyers in Montgomery County
"Civil procedure" in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania is a very broad term, and it refers to the wide variety of rules that regulate 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 Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, the civil procedure rules are meant to ensure that the civil litigation system is as efficient, accessible, fair, and inexpensive as possible.
Civil litigation, however, is inherently complex. So, there is no getting around the fact that the civil procedure rules in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania are also going to be somewhat complicated and obtuse (or at least parts of them are). Remember, these rules govern every single thing that happens in a civil lawsuit, from the first complaint, to the last appeal.
Major Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most important part of filing a lawsuit in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Montgomery County, Pennsylvania court that lays out the plaintiff's (the person filing the suit) allegations against the defendant (the person being sued), as well as the relief that the plaintiff is seeking from the court.
Answer: For the defendant, the answer is usually the first document they file in a lawsuit. As the name suggests, it "answers" the plaintiff's complaint. The answer typically 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: After the complaint has been filed in the Montgomery County, Pennsylvania court of competent jurisdiction, the next major phase is the discovery process. In a civil lawsuit, there are not supposed to be any surprises (so the dramatic moments you see in TV trials are largely fiction). This predictability largely comes from the discovery process. Each side of the lawsuit has to disclose information relevant to the lawsuit to the other. This information can be obtained by sending the other side written questions, which must be answered under oath, demanding access to documents, and deposing witnesses.
Trial: It is actually quite rare for civil lawsuits in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Montgomery County 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 Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
If you're suing someone, or are being sued, in Montgomery County, 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 Montgomery County, Pennsylvania are complex, it's smart to have the counsel of an experienced attorney through every step of the process.