Litigation Lawyers in Salem
In Salem, 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 Salem, Virginia are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, low-cost, simple, and fair as possible.
Civil litigation, however, is inherently complicated. So, there is no getting around the fact that the civil procedure rules in Salem, Virginia 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 Salem, Virginia Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The initial, and perhaps most significant, part of filing a lawsuit in Salem, Virginia is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Salem, Virginia 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). Typically, but not always, the end of the complaint will contain a "prayer for relief." The prayer for relief is just a statement of what the plaintiff is asking the court to do to remedy the harm that the defendant allegedly caused.
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, typically 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 establish that he acted in self-defense, he likely will not be held liable.
Discovery: After the complaint has been filed in the Salem, Virginia court of competent jurisdiction, the next important phase is the discovery process. In a civil lawsuit, there are not supposed to be any surprises (so the dramatic moments you see in TV trials are largely fiction). This predictability largely comes from the discovery process. Each side of the lawsuit has to disclose information relevant to the lawsuit to the other. This information can be acquired by sending the other side written questions, which must be answered under oath, demanding access to documents, and deposing witnesses.
Trial: Although the trial is arguably the most dramatic element of civil procedure in Salem, Virginia, it is truly very rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in Salem is designed to encourage early settlement of cases, or dismissal of cases that don't have any legal or factual merit. Nonetheless, in the rare cases when the case is not dismissed, and the parties can't reach a settlement, the matter will go to trial. A trial is the most visible aspect of civil litigation, and it is the stage when all of the legal and factual questions raised by both parties are resolved by a judge and jury, respectively.
How Can a Salem, Virginia Lawyer Help?
If you're suing anyone, or are being sued, in Salem, Virginia, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
In Salem, Virginia, procedural dilemmas 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.