Litigation Lawyers in Des Moines
In Des Moines, Washington, civil procedure is exactly what it sounds like: it refers to the laws that control how civil litigation is done.
The rules of civil procedure in Des Moines, Washington are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, low-cost, simple, and fair as possible.
In Des Moines, Washington, civil litigation is usually extremely perplexing. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly perplexing. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.
Major Des Moines, Washington Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The initial, and perhaps most significant, part of filing a lawsuit in Des Moines, Washington is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Des Moines, 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). Usually, 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 usually the first document that the defendant files, and it is meant to serve as a direct response to the plaintiff's complaint. It usually 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 both sides have fired their opening volleys in the form of the complaint and answer, the next procedure in civil litigation in Des Moines, Washington is discovery. Under the civil procedure rules of most jurisdictions in the U.S., each side of a lawsuit is obligated by law to disclose relevant information to the other side. These disclosures come in the form of depositions, the production of documents, and answers to written questions submitted by opposing counsel.
Trial: It is actually quite rare for civil lawsuits in Des Moines, Washington to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Des Moines 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 Des Moines, Washington Lawyer Help?
If you're facing a lawsuit in Des Moines, Washington 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 Des Moines, Washington are complex, it's smart to have the counsel of an experienced attorney through every step of the process.