Litigation Lawyers in Norristown
"Civil procedure" in Norristown, 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 Norristown, Pennsylvania, the civil procedure rules are meant to ensure that the civil litigation system is as efficient, accessible, fair, and cost-effective as possible.
Civil litigation, however, is inherently difficult. So, there is no getting around the fact that the civil procedure rules in Norristown, Pennsylvania are also going to be somewhat convoluted 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 Norristown, Pennsylvania Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most important part of filing a lawsuit in Norristown, Pennsylvania is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Norristown, 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: Once the complaint is filed, the ball is in the defendant's court, so to speak. In the answer, the defendant has an opportunity to respond to all of the factual allegations made by the plaintiff, normally by denying them. The defendant might also raise affirmative defenses, which could prevent the defendant from being held liable. For example, if the defendant is accused of battery, and he did, in fact, batter the plaintiff, he might admit to that fact, but claim that the plaintiff was the aggressor, and he acted purely in self-defense. If he can show that he acted in self-defense, he likely will not be held liable.
Discovery: The civil procedure rules in Norristown, Pennsylvania were written with the purpose of, among other things, avoiding 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 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 really quite rare for civil lawsuits in Norristown, Pennsylvania to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Norristown 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 Norristown, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any considerable legal issue in Norristown, Pennsylvania, you can be pretty much certain that you'll face at least a few procedural complications that can hold up the process.
It should go without saying that you should have a Norristown, Pennsylvania attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost certain to face, if you're immersed in a lawsuit.