Litigation Lawyers in Sioux Falls
"Civil procedure" in Sioux Falls, South Dakota is a very broad term, and it refers to the wide variety of rules that control how civil litigation is done. It is to be distinguished from substantive law, which controls the rights that civil litigation is meant to vindicate.
The civil procedure rules in Sioux Falls, South Dakota are designed around a few simple goals for the civil litigation system: efficiency, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and, most notably, fairness.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota's civil procedure rules can get pretty difficult, however. They control every aspect of a civil action, from the filing of the complaint, to discovery, and all the way through trial and appeals.
Major Sioux Falls, South Dakota Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: In Sioux Falls, South Dakota the initial step in suing somebody (after speaking with a lawyer to determine if you have a case) is normally filing a complaint. The complaint is also one of the most significant documents in the civil litigation process. By laying out the wrongs that the plaintiff alleges the defendant has committed, as well as the remedies that the plaintiff wants the court to provide, it can set the tone for the entire rest of the case.
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 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 Sioux Falls, South Dakota 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 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: It's quite rare for lawsuits in Sioux Falls, South Dakota to go to trial. Sioux Falls'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. Nonetheless, if this is not possible, the matter will go to trial, where a judge and/or jury will decide the factual questions, and then award the appropriate relief (if any) to the prevailing party.
How Can a Sioux Falls, South Dakota Lawyer Help?
If you're suing anyone, or are being sued, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
Civil Procedure in Sioux Falls, South Dakota can be pretty difficult. It's always a good idea to have a lawyer who can advise you on how best to deal with these civil procedure issues.