Litigation Lawyers in Salt Lake City
"Civil procedure" in Salt Lake City, Utah is a very broad term, and it refers to the wide variety of rules that govern how civil litigation is done. It is to be distinguished from substantive law, which controls the rights that civil litigation is meant to vindicate.
Salt Lake City, Utah's government strives to make the civil justice system fair, efficient, and accessible. The rules of civil procedure are designed to advocate those goals, to the greatest extent possible.
Civil litigation, however, is inherently complicated. So, there is no getting around the fact that the civil procedure rules in Salt Lake City, Utah are also going to be somewhat confusing 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 Salt Lake City, Utah Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The complaint is probably the most important document that the plaintiff will file in a Salt Lake City, Utah lawsuit, and it is typically 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. Consequently, it can frame the tone, as well as the legal and factual issues, that will dominate the rest of the case.
Answer: After the plaintiff files the complaint, the defendant has to act. While they have a few avenues at this stage of the game, most defendants elect to file an answer. The answer is the defendant's first direct response to the plaintiff's allegations. Occasionally, the answer contains a general denial, in which the defendant simply denies everything the plaintiff alleges. It might also contain a point-by-point addressing of every allegation the plaintiff makes, denying some, and admitting some.
Discovery: Once the complaint and answer have been filed in a Salt Lake City, Utah court, the next major civil procedure issue comes up. Discovery is the procedure in which both sides of the lawsuit are obligated to disclose obligated 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: In Salt Lake City, Utah, it's truly very rare for civil lawsuits to go to trial. Of all the lawsuits that are filed, only a tiny minority make it to trial. The majority are either dismissed, or settled. This is by design: the civil procedure rules in Salt Lake City are particularly meant to encourage early resolution of legal disputes, without resorting to a costly and time-consuming trial. Nonetheless, when a case does go to trial, it is for the purpose of a jury resolving all of the factual disputes between the parties. Each side will present evidence gained through the discovery process, call witnesses, and make arguments on behalf of their position. Once the jury reaches a verdict (a finding of fact), the judge enters a judgment on the verdict.
How Can a Salt Lake City, Utah Lawyer Help?
If you are dealing with a lawsuit in Salt Lake City, Utah, it's almost given that you will have to deal with issues regarding civil procedure.
In Salt Lake City, Utah, procedural issues can derail an otherwise-valid case. They can also be some of the most obtuse and convoluted issues in the whole case. Consequently, you should not go into something like this without the counsel of an attorney.