Litigation Lawyers in Hilton Head Island
"Civil procedure" in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 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 Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, 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 Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 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 Hilton Head Island, South Carolina Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The complaint is probably the most important document that the plaintiff will file in a Hilton Head Island, South Carolina lawsuit, and it is usually 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. Therefore, 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 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: Once the initial documents have been filed by both parties in the proper Hilton Head Island, 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. Basically, 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 procedure: each side can send written questions to the other, which must be answered under oath. They can also request documents, as well as access to physical evidence. They can also conduct depositions (in-person Q&A sessions) of parties and witnesses.
Trial: It is actually quite rare for civil lawsuits in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Hilton Head Island 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 Hilton Head Island, South Carolina Lawyer Help?
If you're facing a lawsuit in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina whether as the plaintiff or defendant, you will have to interact with your jurisdiction's civil procedure rules.
Because the rules of civil procedure in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina are complex, it's smart to have the counsel of an experienced attorney through every step of the process.