Litigation Lawyers in Chattanooga
"Civil procedure" in Chattanooga, Tennessee 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 Chattanooga, Tennessee are designed around a few simple goals for the civil litigation system: efficiency, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and, most notably, fairness.
The rules of civil procedure in Chattanooga, Tennessee are sometimes difficult. Because civil litigation is an inherently complicated 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 Chattanooga, Tennessee Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most significant part of filing a lawsuit in Chattanooga, Tennessee is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Chattanooga, Tennessee court that lays out the plaintiff's (the individual filing the suit) allegations against the defendant (the individual being sued), as well as the relief that the plaintiff is seeking from the court.
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: The civil procedure rules in Chattanooga, Tennessee were written with the purpose of, among other things, preventing surprises. For that reason, everyone immersed 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 procedure, during which the attorneys for both sides are obligated to disclose (with some exemptions) all information relevant to the trial which they have in their possession. These disclosures come in several 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: It's quite rare for lawsuits in Chattanooga, Tennessee to go to trial. Chattanooga'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 Chattanooga, Tennessee Lawyer Help?
If you're facing a lawsuit in Chattanooga, Tennessee whether as the plaintiff or defendant, you will have to interact with your jurisdiction's civil procedure rules.
It should go without saying that you should have a Chattanooga, Tennessee attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost sure to face, if you're immersed in a lawsuit.