Litigation Lawyers in Lubbock County
"Civil procedure" in Lubbock 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.
Lubbock 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.
Lubbock 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 Lubbock County, Texas Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The complaint is probably the most important document that the plaintiff will file in a Lubbock County, Texas lawsuit, and it is normally the first. The complaint contains all of the plaintiff's allegations against the defendant, as well as the relief that the plaintiff is asking the court to provide. Thus, it can frame the tone, as well as the legal and factual issues, that will dominate the rest of the case.
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 initial documents have been filed by both parties in the correct Lubbock County, Texas court, the discovery process begins. "Discovery" refers to a wide range of disclosures that each side of the lawsuit must make to the other. Essentially, everyone involved in the lawsuit has to disclose every piece of information in their possession (with some exceptions) that's relevant to the factual issues in the case. There are a few different methods that are employed in this process: each side can send written questions to the other, which must be answered under oath. They can further request documents, as well as access to physical evidence. They can also conduct depositions (in-person Q&A sessions) of parties and witnesses.
Trial: It is really quite rare for civil lawsuits in Lubbock County, Texas to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Lubbock County 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 Lubbock County, Texas Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any considerable legal issue in Lubbock County, Texas, you can be pretty much certain that you'll face at least a few procedural complications that can hold up the process.
Because the rules of civil procedure in Lubbock County, Texas are complicated, it's smart to have the counsel of an accomplished attorney through every step of the process.