Litigation Lawyers in Suffolk
In Suffolk, 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 Suffolk, 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 Suffolk, 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 Suffolk, Virginia Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The initial, and perhaps most significant, part of filing a lawsuit in Suffolk, Virginia is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Suffolk, 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: 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: After the complaint has been filed in the Suffolk, 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 Suffolk, Virginia, it is truly very rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in Suffolk 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 Suffolk, Virginia Lawyer Help?
If you're facing any substantial legal issue in Suffolk, Virginia, you can be pretty much sure that you'll face at least a few procedural complications that can hold up the process.
It should go without saying that you should have a Suffolk, Virginia attorney on hand to deal with any civil procedure issues that you're almost sure to face, if you're engaged in a lawsuit.