Litigation Lawyers in Ferndale
In Ferndale, 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 Ferndale, Washington are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, inexpensive, simple, and fair as possible.
In Ferndale, Washington, civil litigation is frequently 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 Ferndale, Washington Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The initial, and perhaps most significant, part of filing a lawsuit in Ferndale, Washington is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in Ferndale, 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: The civil procedure rules in Ferndale, Washington were written with the purpose of, among other things, preventing surprises. For that reason, everyone involved in a lawsuit goes into trial with a pretty good idea of what evidence the other side has. This is largely because of the discovery procedure, during which the attorneys for both sides are obligated to disclose (with some exemptions) all information relevant to the trial which they have in their possession. These disclosures come in several forms, such as simply sending boxes of documents, deposing witnesses, or submitting written questions to the other side, which the recipient is obligated to answer under oath.
Trial: Although the trial is arguably the most dramatic element of civil procedure in Ferndale, Washington, it is actually very rare for civil lawsuits to make it this far. Civil procedure in Ferndale 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 Ferndale, Washington Lawyer Help?
If you are facing a legal issue of any sort in Ferndale, Washington, you are going to encounter civil procedure issues.
In Ferndale, Washington, procedural dilemmas can derail an otherwise-valid case. They can also be some of the most obtuse and convoluted issues in the whole case. Therefore, you should not go into something like this without the counsel of an attorney.