Litigation Lawyers in Cranston
"Civil procedure" in Cranston, Rhode Island 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 Cranston, Rhode Island, the civil procedure rules are meant to ensure that the civil litigation system is as efficient, accessible, fair, and low-cost as possible.
Civil litigation in Cranston, Rhode Island 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 Cranston, Rhode Island Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: When somebody believes that they have suffered a legal wrong in Cranston, Rhode Island, and decide to file a lawsuit, the initial document that they file with the court is usually the complaint. The complaint is very significant, because it can frame the factual and legal issues, and set the tone, for the rest of the process. The complaint typically contains every factual allegation against the defendant that forms the basis of the plaintiff's lawsuit. It also contains a prayer for relief, in which the plaintiff lays out his or her desired remedies, if the court finds the defendant liable.
Answer: For the defendant, the answer is usually the first document they file in a lawsuit. As the name suggests, it "answers" the plaintiff's complaint. The answer typically 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 instance, 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: The civil procedure rules in Cranston, Rhode Island 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: It is actually quite rare for civil lawsuits in Cranston, Rhode Island to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Cranston highly encourage early resolution to cases by dismissal of lawsuits that have no merit, and negotiated settlement of those that do. Nonetheless, when neither of those things happen, the case goes to trial. This is when a judge and jury determine 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 Cranston, Rhode Island Lawyer Help?
If you're facing a lawsuit in Cranston, Rhode Island 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 Cranston, Rhode Island attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost sure to face, if you're involved in a lawsuit.