Litigation Lawyers in St. Marys
"Civil procedure" in St. Marys, Pennsylvania is a very broad term, and it refers to the wide variety of rules that govern 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 St. Marys, 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 confusing. So, there is no getting around the fact that the civil procedure rules in St. Marys, Pennsylvania are also going to be somewhat intricate 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 St. Marys, Pennsylvania Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: In St. Marys, Pennsylvania the first step in suing somebody (after speaking with a lawyer to determine if you have a case) is typically filing a complaint. The complaint is also one of the most important documents in the civil litigation process. By laying out the wrongs that the plaintiff alleges the defendant has committed, as well as the remedies that the plaintiff wants the court to provide, it can set the tone for the entire 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 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 St. Marys, 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 acquired by sending the other side written questions, which must be answered under oath, demanding access to documents, and deposing witnesses.
Trial: it's truly very uncommon for lawsuits to go trial in St. Marys, Pennsylvania, because the rules of civil procedure in St. Marys, and nearly everywhere else, encourage speedy resolution of legal disputes, before they ever see the inside of a courtroom. This is largely accomplished by judges dismissing cases that clearly have no merit, or the parties settling out of court. However, when neither of these things is possible, both sides of the lawsuit will have to hash it out in a trial, which can be the most stressful and expensive step in the process. It involves both sides of the case presenting their evidence and arguments to a jury and judge, and letting them decide the issues.
How Can a St. Marys, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
If you are facing a legal issue of any kind in St. Marys, Pennsylvania, you are going to confront civil procedure issues.
In St. Marys, Pennsylvania, procedural dilemmas can derail an otherwise-valid case. They can also be some of the most obtuse and convoluted issues in the whole case. Consequently, you should not go into something like this without the counsel of an attorney.