Litigation Lawyers in North East
"Civil procedure" in North East, Pennsylvania is a very broad term, and it refers to the wide variety of rules that control 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 North East, Pennsylvania, the civil procedure rules are meant to ensure that the civil litigation system is as efficient, accessible, fair, and affordable as possible.
Civil litigation, however, is inherently intricate. So, there is no getting around the fact that the civil procedure rules in North East, Pennsylvania are also going to be somewhat difficult 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 North East, Pennsylvania Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most significant part of filing a lawsuit in North East, Pennsylvania is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a North East, Pennsylvania court that lays out the plaintiff's (the individual filing the suit) allegations against the defendant (the individual 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 chance 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 keep the defendant from being held liable. For instance, 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 North East, Pennsylvania were written with the purpose of, among other things, preventing 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 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: Although the trial is arguably the most dramatic element of civil procedure in North East, Pennsylvania, it is really very rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in North East is designed to encourage early settlement of cases, or dismissal of cases that don't have any legal or factual merit. Nonetheless, in the rare cases when the case is not dismissed, and the parties can't reach a settlement, the matter will go to trial. A trial is the most visible aspect of civil litigation, and it is the stage when all of the legal and factual questions raised by both parties are resolved by a judge and jury, respectively.
How Can a North East, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
If you're facing a lawsuit in North East, 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 North East, Pennsylvania attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost sure to face, if you're immersed in a lawsuit.