Litigation Lawyers in Covington
In Covington, Washington, civil procedure is clearly what it sounds like: it refers to the laws that control how civil litigation is done.
The rules of civil procedure in Covington, Washington are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, inexpensive, simple, and fair as possible.
In Covington, Washington, civil litigation is frequently extremely difficult. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly intricate. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.
Major Covington, Washington Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The initial, and perhaps most significant, part of filing a lawsuit in Covington, Washington is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Covington, Washington 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). Normally, 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: The answer is normally the first document that the defendant files, and it is meant to serve as a direct response to the plaintiff's complaint. It normally denies all of the plaintiff's major allegations. It might also lay out affirmative defenses. An "affirmative defense" is a set of reasons that negate the defendant's liability even if their conduct would ordinarily be unlawful. For example, in a lawsuit for battery, a defendant might admit that he struck the plaintiff, but claim that he acted in self-defense. If that can be shown, it would negate, or mitigate, his liability to the plaintiff.
Discovery: Once the complaint and answer have been filed in a Covington, Washington 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: It's quite rare for lawsuits in Covington, Washington to go to trial. Covington's civil procedure rules really discourage trials, and rather have designed the system so that it's almost always more cost-effective to settle out of court. Nonetheless, if this is not possible, the matter will go to trial, where a judge and/or jury will decide the factual questions, and then award the appropriate relief (if any) to the prevailing party.
How Can a Covington, Washington Lawyer Help?
If you're suing anyone, or are being sued, in Covington, Washington, dealing with issues of civil procedure is going to be a fact of life for quite some time.
Civil Procedure in Covington, Washington can be pretty difficult. It's always a good idea to have a lawyer who can advise you on how best to deal with these civil procedure issues.