Litigation Lawyers in Amarillo
"Civil procedure" in Amarillo, Texas is a very broad term, and it refers to the wide variety of rules that govern 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 Amarillo, Texas 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 Amarillo, Texas are sometimes confusing. 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 Amarillo, Texas Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: In Amarillo, Texas the initial step in suing somebody (after speaking with a lawyer to determine if you have a case) is typically 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: Once the complaint is filed, the ball is in the defendant's court, so to speak. In the answer, the defendant has an chance to respond to all of the factual allegations made by the plaintiff, typically by denying them. The defendant might also raise affirmative defenses, which could keep the defendant from being held liable. For instance, if the defendant is accused of battery, and he did, in fact, batter the plaintiff, he might admit to that fact, but claim that the plaintiff was the aggressor, and he acted purely in self-defense. If he can establish that he acted in self-defense, he likely will not be held liable.
Discovery: After the complaint has been filed in the Amarillo, Texas court of competent jurisdiction, the next important phase is the discovery process. In a civil lawsuit, there are not supposed to be any surprises (so the dramatic moments you see in TV trials are largely fiction). This predictability largely comes from the discovery process. Each side of the lawsuit has to disclose information relevant to the lawsuit to the other. This information can be acquired by sending the other side written questions, which must be answered under oath, demanding access to documents, and deposing witnesses.
Trial: It is truly quite rare for civil lawsuits in Amarillo, Texas to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Amarillo 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 Amarillo, Texas Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any substantial legal issue in Amarillo, Texas, you can be pretty much sure that you'll face at least a few procedural complications that can hold up the process.
The rules of civil procedure in Amarillo, Texas are not always simple or intuitive. With that in mind, it's very important to have a reliable attorney on your side, to help you through the process.