Litigation Lawyers in Austin
"Civil procedure" in Austin, Texas 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 Austin, Texas are designed around a few simple goals for the civil litigation system: efficiency, accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and, most vitally, fairness.
Civil litigation in Austin, Texas is almost never a simple process. So, the rules governing this process can't always be simple, either. Remember, civil procedure covers every single step of the civil litigation process, which can drag on for years.
Major Austin, Texas Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most important part of filing a lawsuit in Austin, Texas is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with an Austin, Texas 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: For the defendant, the answer is typically the first document they file in a lawsuit. As the name suggests, it "answers" the plaintiff's complaint. The answer normally 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: Once both sides have fired their opening volleys in the form of the complaint and answer, the next process in civil litigation in Austin, Texas is discovery. Under the civil procedure rules of most jurisdictions in the U.S., each side of a lawsuit is required by law to disclose relevant information to the other side. These disclosures come in the form of depositions, the production of documents, and answers to written questions submitted by opposing counsel.
Trial: It is truly quite rare for civil lawsuits in Austin, Texas to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Austin 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 Austin, Texas Lawyer Help?
If you're facing a lawsuit in Austin, Texas whether as the plaintiff or defendant, you will have to deal with your jurisdiction's civil procedure rules.
Because the rules of civil procedure in Austin, Texas are intricate, it's smart to have the counsel of an efficient attorney through every step of the process.