Litigation Lawyers in Harrisonburg
In Harrisonburg, Virginia, civil procedure is precisely what it sounds like: it refers to the laws that control how civil litigation is done.
The rules of civil procedure in Harrisonburg, Virginia are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, low-cost, simple, and fair as possible.
The rules of civil procedure in Harrisonburg, Virginia are sometimes confusing. Because civil litigation is an inherently intricate process, the rules that govern how it proceeds can't be simple, either. They govern every step of the litigation process, from filing the initial complaint, all the way to the final appeals process.
Major Harrisonburg, Virginia Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The complaint is probably the most important document that the plaintiff will file in a Harrisonburg, Virginia 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 initial documents have been filed by both parties in the proper Harrisonburg, Virginia 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 additionally 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 truly quite rare for civil lawsuits in Harrisonburg, Virginia to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Harrisonburg 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 Harrisonburg, Virginia Lawyer Help?
If you're facing a lawsuit in Harrisonburg, Virginia whether as the plaintiff or defendant, you will have to interact with your jurisdiction's civil procedure rules.
Because the rules of civil procedure in Harrisonburg, Virginia are intricate, it's smart to have the counsel of an efficient attorney through every step of the process.