Litigation Lawyers in West Mifflin
"Civil procedure" in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania is a very broad term, and it refers to the wide variety of rules that regulate 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 West Mifflin, 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 in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania is almost never a simple process. So, the rules controlling this process can't always be simple, either. Remember, civil procedure governs every single step of the civil litigation process, which can drag on for years.
Major West Mifflin, Pennsylvania Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most significant part of filing a lawsuit in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a West Mifflin, 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: The answer is usually the first document that the defendant files, and it is meant to serve as a direct response to the plaintiff's complaint. It usually denies all of the plaintiff's major allegations. It might also lay out affirmative defenses. An "affirmative defense" is a set of reasons 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 shown, it would negate, or mitigate, his liability to the plaintiff.
Discovery: The civil procedure rules in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania were written with the purpose of, among other things, preventing surprises. For that reason, everyone involved 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 West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, it is actually very rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in West Mifflin 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 West Mifflin, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
If you are facing a legal issue of any sort in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, you are going to encounter civil procedure issues.
In West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, procedural issues can derail an otherwise-valid case. They can also be some of the most obtuse and convoluted issues in the whole case. Therefore, you should not go into something like this without the counsel of an attorney.