Litigation Lawyers in Beaufort
"Civil procedure" in Beaufort, South Carolina 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 Beaufort, South Carolina, 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 in Beaufort, South Carolina 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 Beaufort, South Carolina Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The complaint is probably the most important document that the plaintiff will file in a Beaufort, South Carolina lawsuit, and it is normally the first. The complaint contains all of the plaintiff's allegations against the defendant, as well as the relief that the plaintiff is asking the court to provide. Thus, it can frame the tone, as well as the legal and factual issues, that will dominate the rest of the case.
Answer: The answer is a document filed by the defendant, in response to a complaint. The answer normally contains a few things: usually, it denies most of the allegations made by the plaintiff. If it does not deny the factual assertions in the complaint, it will normally raise legal defenses, known as affirmative defenses, arguing that even if everything the plaintiff alleges is true, the defendant should not be held liable, because of extenuating circumstances.
Discovery: Once the initial documents have been filed by both parties in the correct Beaufort, South Carolina court, the discovery process begins. "Discovery" refers to a wide range of disclosures that each side of the lawsuit must make to the other. Essentially, everyone involved in the lawsuit has to disclose every piece of information in their possession (with some exceptions) that's relevant to the factual issues in the case. There are a few different methods that are employed in this process: each side can send written questions to the other, which must be answered under oath. They can further request documents, as well as access to physical evidence. They can also conduct depositions (in-person Q&A sessions) of parties and witnesses.
Trial: In Beaufort, South Carolina, it's really extremely rare for civil lawsuits to go to trial. Of all the lawsuits that are filed, only a tiny minority make it to trial. The majority are either dismissed, or settled. This is by design: the civil procedure rules in Beaufort are specifically meant to encourage early resolution of legal disputes, without resorting to a costly and time-consuming trial. However, when a case does go to trial, it is for the purpose of a jury resolving all of the factual disputes between the parties. Each side will present evidence received through the discovery process, call witnesses, and make arguments on behalf of their position. Once the jury reaches a verdict (a finding of fact), the judge enters a judgment on the verdict.
How Can a Beaufort, South Carolina Lawyer Help?
If you are facing a legal issue of any kind in Beaufort, South Carolina, you are going to face civil procedure issues.
Because the rules of civil procedure in Beaufort, South Carolina are complicated, it's smart to have the counsel of an accomplished attorney through every step of the process.