Litigation Lawyers in Westmont
"Civil procedure" in Westmont, 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 Westmont, 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 in Westmont, Pennsylvania is almost never a simple process. So, the rules governing this process can't always be simple, either. Remember, civil procedure covers every single step of the civil litigation process, which can drag on for years.
Major Westmont, Pennsylvania Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most important part of filing a lawsuit in Westmont, Pennsylvania is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Westmont, 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: The answer is normally the first document that the defendant files, and it is meant to serve as a direct response to the plaintiff's complaint. It normally denies all of the plaintiff's major allegations. It might also lay out affirmative defenses. An "affirmative defense" is a set of circumstances 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 proven, it would negate, or mitigate, his liability to the plaintiff.
Discovery: The civil procedure rules in Westmont, 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's quite rare for lawsuits in Westmont, Pennsylvania to go to trial. Westmont's civil procedure rules really discourage trials, and rather have designed the system so that it's almost always more cost-effective to settle out of court. However, if this is not possible, the matter will go to trial, where a judge and/or jury will determine the factual questions, and then award the appropriate relief (if any) to the prevailing party.
How Can a Westmont, Pennsylvania Lawyer Help?
If you're facing a lawsuit in Westmont, Pennsylvania whether as the plaintiff or defendant, you will have to deal with your jurisdiction's civil procedure rules.
It should go without saying that you should have a Westmont, 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.