Litigation Lawyers in Friendswood
"Civil procedure" in Friendswood, 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.
Friendswood, 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.
Friendswood, 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 Friendswood, Texas Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The first, and perhaps most important, part of filing a lawsuit in Friendswood, Texas is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Friendswood, 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 both sides have fired their opening volleys in the form of the complaint and answer, the next process in civil litigation in Friendswood, 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 really quite rare for civil lawsuits in Friendswood, Texas to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Friendswood 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 Friendswood, Texas Lawyer Help?
If you're facing a lawsuit in Friendswood, Texas whether as the plaintiff or defendant, you will have to deal with your jurisdiction's civil procedure rules.
It should go without saying that you should have a Friendswood, Texas attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost certain to face, if you're immersed in a lawsuit.