Litigation Lawyers in Bartlett
"Civil procedure" in Bartlett, Tennessee is a very broad term, and it refers to the wide variety of rules that govern 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 Bartlett, Tennessee are designed around a few simple goals for the civil litigation system: efficiency, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and, most importantly, fairness.
The rules of civil procedure in Bartlett, Tennessee are sometimes intricate. Because civil litigation is an inherently intricate process, the rules that govern how it proceeds can't be simple, either. They govern every step of the litigation process, from filing the initial complaint, all the way to the final appeals process.
Major Bartlett, Tennessee Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most important part of filing a lawsuit in Bartlett, Tennessee is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Bartlett, Tennessee court that lays out the plaintiff's (the person filing the suit) allegations against the defendant (the person being sued), as well as the relief that the plaintiff is seeking from the court.
Answer: The answer is typically the first document that the defendant files, and it is meant to serve as a direct response to the plaintiff's complaint. It typically denies all of the plaintiff's major allegations. It might also lay out affirmative defenses. An "affirmative defense" is a set of circumstances 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 proven, it would negate, or mitigate, his liability to the plaintiff.
Discovery: Once the initial documents have been filed by both parties in the correct Bartlett, Tennessee 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 additionally 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 truly quite rare for civil lawsuits in Bartlett, Tennessee to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Bartlett strongly encourage early resolution to cases by dismissal of lawsuits that have no merit, and negotiated settlement of those that do. However, when neither of those things happen, the case goes to trial. This is when a judge and jury decide 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 Bartlett, Tennessee Lawyer Help?
If you're suing someone, or are being sued, in Bartlett, Tennessee, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
In Bartlett, Tennessee, procedural pitfalls can derail an otherwise-valid case. They can also be some of the most obtuse and convoluted issues in the whole case. Consequently, you should not go into something like this without the counsel of an attorney.