Litigation Lawyers in King County
In King County, Washington, 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 King County, Washington are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, low-cost, simple, and fair as possible.
In King County, Washington, civil litigation is usually extremely confusing. So, it shouldn't be a surprise that the rules of civil procedure can also be fairly complicated. After all, they govern everything from the first document filed by the plaintiff, to the last ruling issued by an appeals court.
Major King County, Washington Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: The initial, and perhaps most significant, part of filing a lawsuit in King County, Washington is the complaint. The complaint is filed with the court in King County, 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). 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: Once both sides have fired their opening volleys in the form of the complaint and answer, the next procedure in civil litigation in King County, 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 truly quite rare for civil lawsuits in King County, Washington to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in King County 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 King County, Washington Lawyer Help?
If you're facing a lawsuit in King County, 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 King County, Washington are intricate, it's smart to have the counsel of an efficient attorney through every step of the process.