Litigation Lawyers in Temple
"Civil procedure" in Temple, Texas is a very broad term, and it refers to the wide variety of rules that control how civil litigation is done. It is to be distinguished from substantive law, which controls the rights that civil litigation is meant to vindicate.
Temple, 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.
Civil litigation, however, is inherently intricate. So, there is no getting around the fact that the civil procedure rules in Temple, Texas are also going to be somewhat difficult and obtuse (or at least parts of them are). Remember, these rules govern every single thing that happens in a civil lawsuit, from the first complaint, to the last appeal.
Major Temple, Texas Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: Perhaps the most significant part of filing a lawsuit in Temple, Texas is the complaint. The complaint is a document filed with a Temple, Texas court that lays out the plaintiff's (the individual filing the suit) allegations against the defendant (the individual being sued), as well as the relief that the plaintiff is seeking from the court.
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, normally 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 show that he acted in self-defense, he likely will not be held liable.
Discovery: Once the initial documents have been filed by both parties in the proper Temple, 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. Basically, 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 procedure: 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 Temple, Texas to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Temple 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 Temple, Texas Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any considerable legal issue in Temple, Texas, you can be pretty much sure that you'll face at least a few procedural complications that can hold up the process.
Because the rules of civil procedure in Temple, Texas are complicated, it's smart to have the counsel of an accomplished attorney through every step of the process.