Litigation Lawyers in Fort Bend County
"Civil procedure" in Fort Bend County, Texas is a very broad term, and it refers to the wide variety of rules that control how civil litigation is conducted. It is to be distinguished from substantive law, which governs the rights that civil litigation is meant to vindicate.
Fort Bend County, Texas's government strives to make the civil justice system fair, efficient, and accessible. The rules of civil procedure are designed to encourage those goals, to the greatest extent possible.
Fort Bend County, Texas's civil procedure rules can get pretty convoluted, 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 Fort Bend County, Texas Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The first, and perhaps most important, part of filing a lawsuit in Fort Bend County, Texas is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Fort Bend County, Texas that's responsible for handling civil trials. It lists everything that the plaintiff (the person who is suing) alleges against the defendant (the person the plaintiff is suing). Normally, but not always, the end of the complaint will contain a "prayer for relief." The prayer for relief is simply a statement of what the plaintiff is asking the court to do to remedy the harm that the defendant allegedly caused.
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 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 complaint and answer have been filed in a Fort Bend County, Texas court, the next major civil procedure issue comes up. Discovery is the process in which both sides of the lawsuit are required to disclose required evidence to one another. The lawyers for each side can submit written questions, which the other party is required to answer under oath, unless the information is privileged. Each side can also request any relevant documents, physical evidence, and can conduct depositions of witnesses and parties to the lawsuit.
Trial: It's quite rare for lawsuits in Fort Bend County, Texas to go to trial. Fort Bend County'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. However, if this is not possible, the matter will go to trial, where a judge and/or jury will determine the factual questions, and then award the appropriate relief (if any) to the prevailing party.
How Can a Fort Bend County, Texas Lawyer Help?
If you're facing a lawsuit in Fort Bend County, Texas whether as the plaintiff or defendant, you will have to deal with your jurisdiction's civil procedure rules.
Civil Procedure in Fort Bend County, Texas can be pretty convoluted. It's always a good idea to have a lawyer who can advise you on how best to deal with these civil procedure issues.