Litigation Lawyers in Olympia
In Olympia, 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 Olympia, Washington are designed to make the process of civil litigation as efficient, inexpensive, simple, and fair as possible.
In Olympia, 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 Olympia, Washington Civil Procedure Issues
Complaint: When somebody believes that they have suffered a legal wrong in Olympia, Washington, and decide to file a lawsuit, the initial document that they file with the court is usually the complaint. The complaint is very significant, because it can frame the factual and legal issues, and set the tone, for the rest of the process. The complaint typically contains every factual allegation against the defendant that forms the basis of the plaintiff's lawsuit. It also contains a prayer for relief, in which the plaintiff lays out his or her desired remedies, if the court finds the defendant liable.
Answer: For the defendant, the answer is usually the first document they file in a lawsuit. As the name suggests, it "answers" the plaintiff's complaint. The answer typically denies most, or all, of the allegations made by the plaintiff. If the allegations are factually correct, and the defendant knows this, the defendant might admit that the allegations are true, but because of extenuating circumstances, they should not be held liable. For instance, in a lawsuit for battery, a defendant might admit that they did strike the plaintiff, but claim that they were acting in self-defense, which would negate or weaken the plaintiff's case.
Discovery: Once both sides have fired their opening volleys in the form of the complaint and answer, the next procedure in civil litigation in Olympia, 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 Olympia, Washington to go to trial, since the rules of civil procedure in Olympia 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 Olympia, Washington Lawyer Help?
If you're suing anyone, or are being sued, in Olympia, 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 Olympia, Washington are complex, it's smart to have the counsel of an experienced attorney through every step of the process.