Litigation Lawyers in Anacortes
In Anacortes, Washington, civil procedure is precisely what it sounds like: it refers to the rules that govern how civil litigation is conducted.
The rules of civil procedure in Anacortes, Washington are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, cost-effective, simple, and fair as possible.
Civil litigation, however, is inherently confusing. So, there is no getting around the fact that the civil procedure rules in Anacortes, Washington are also going to be somewhat intricate 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 Anacortes, Washington Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: In Anacortes, Washington the first step in suing somebody (after speaking with a lawyer to determine if you have a case) is typically filing a complaint. The complaint is also one of the most important documents in the civil litigation process. By laying out the wrongs that the plaintiff alleges the defendant has committed, as well as the remedies that the plaintiff wants the court to provide, it can set the tone for the entire rest of the case.
Answer: Once the complaint is filed, the ball is in the defendant's court, so to speak. In the answer, the defendant has an opportunity 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 prevent the defendant from being held liable. For example, 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 Anacortes, Washington court of competent jurisdiction, the next major 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: It is truly quite rare for civil lawsuits in Anacortes, Washington to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Anacortes strongly encourage early resolution to cases by dismissal of lawsuits that have no merit, and negotiated settlement of those that do. However, when neither of those things happen, the case goes to trial. This is when a judge and jury decide 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 Anacortes, Washington Lawyer Help?
If you're suing someone, or are being sued, in Anacortes, Washington, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
Because the rules of civil procedure in Anacortes, Washington are intricate, it's smart to have the counsel of an efficient attorney through every step of the process.