Litigation Lawyers in Canton
"Civil procedure" in Canton, South Dakota is a very broad term, and it refers to the wide variety of rules that regulate how civil litigation is conducted. It is to be distinguished from substantive law, which governs the rights that civil litigation is meant to vindicate.
The civil procedure rules in Canton, South Dakota are designed around a few simple goals for the civil litigation system: efficiency, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and, most importantly, fairness.
Canton, South Dakota's civil procedure rules can get pretty complicated, however. They govern every aspect of a civil action, from the filing of the complaint, to discovery, and all the way through trial and appeals.
Major Canton, South Dakota Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The complaint is probably the most important document that the plaintiff will file in a Canton, South Dakota 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: 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 example, 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 Canton, South Dakota were written with the purpose of, among other things, avoiding 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 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: In Canton, South Dakota, it's actually 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 Canton 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 obtained 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 Canton, South Dakota Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any significant legal issue in Canton, South Dakota, you can be pretty much certain that you'll face at least a few procedural complications that can hold up the process.
It should go without saying that you should have a Canton, South Dakota attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost certain to face, if you're involved in a lawsuit.