While nearly any legal case can potentially end up in a trial, only a minority of cases actually head to litigation. If all other attempts, including mediation, do not satisfactorily resolve your legal matter, you might find yourself facing a court battle. While some people prefer their case be decided by a judge or jury, many more find the prospect overwhelming and more than a little stressful.
Being well-informed about what litigation is and what it involves gives you reassuring insight into what to expect should your case reach the courtroom. Cobb Cole’s litigation attorneys have been defending our clients’ interests for nearly a century. We’ll help you develop a litigation strategy that addresses your case’s unique elements and achieves the best possible outcome.
How Can a Litigation Attorney Ease the Court Process?
Litigation attorneys or trial lawyers provide their clients with informed legal representation and guidance throughout the entire courtroom process. If litigation is imminent in your legal matter, they:
- Ensure your rights are protected.
- Advocate for your personal and financial interests.
- Diligently work toward a favorable outcome.
Methods they use to achieve optimal results include everything from drafting pleadings to investigating case facts, negotiating with opposing lawyers, and appearing in court. Through careful planning and research, they create a strategy aligned with your objectives and tailored to your case’s specifics.
Is Your Legal Matter Headed to Litigation?
It’s estimated that only three to five percent of lawsuits end up in litigation. If your case happens to be one of them, and you’re worried about what that means, take a deep breath, and know that you’re not alone.
While facing a court case can be nerve-wracking, the more you know, the less stressful it can be. As your matter progresses from the pre-trial phase to opening statements, evidence presentation, and witness testimonies, your litigation attorney will skillfully handle the intricacies of the legal process and present your case in the best possible light.
They will guide you through each step, providing reassurance and professional advice and working tirelessly to protect your rights and pursue a favorable outcome. With a skilled litigation attorney by your side, you can approach litigation with confidence and peace of mind, knowing you have a dedicated advocate fighting for your best interests.
What to Expect During Litigation
Here’s what to anticipate as your court date approaches.
Thorough case preparation is crucial for a litigation attorney, laying the groundwork for a compelling presentation of your case. Key elements include:
- Gathering and reviewing relevant evidence such as correspondence, contracts, medical records, financial statements, or other pertinent information, including images or videos.
- Conducting legal research into applicable laws, regulations, and precedents relevant to your case to identify critical arguments and defenses.
- Assessing strengths and weaknesses to develop a realistic outlook and shape your legal strategy.
- Interviewing witnesses to gather and evaluate their testimonies and credibility.
- Drafting legal pleadings, including complaints, answers, and motions outlining your case’s relevant facts and legal arguments.
- Engaging in discovery or the exchange of information between parties to evaluate the opposing party’s case. Discovery can include requests for the production of documents, interrogatories or written questions, and depositions.
- Developing a trial strategy based on all gathered information and analysis, including forming key arguments, selecting witnesses, and anticipating counterarguments to determine the most effective way to present your case in court.
Pre-trial Motions & Hearings
Pre-trial motions and hearings include evidentiary issues, legal arguments, and procedural matters that help shape your court case. They lay the foundation for a well-structured and focused trial and ensure all parties are prepared.
Not every litigation involves a jury; some are bench trials decided by a judge. The jury selection process begins with summoning a group of potential jurors (the jury pool) to the courthouse who represent a cross-section of the community where the trial will take place.
“Voir dire” is a process where potential jurors are questioned and evaluated by the judge and attorneys to determine their backgrounds, potential biases, and ability to be fair and impartial in a court case.
During voir dire, attorneys on either side can request that a potential juror be dismissed “for cause.” Plaintiffs and defendants also have a limited number of “peremptory challenges” that allow them to remove one or more potential jurors without cause. However, these challenges cannot be based on race, gender, or other protected traits.
Depending on the type of case, six to 12 individuals are then chosen (impaneled) from the unchallenged jurors and are sworn in as the official jury for the case. The trial then proceeds with opening statements, presentation of evidence, witness testimonies, and legal arguments.
Exchange of Evidence and Witness Information
During the “discovery process,” the attorneys for both sides disclose documents and other information so they understand what evidence will be presented. Various records and deposition transcripts as well as expert witness reports and witness lists are also exchanged. The discovery process promotes transparency, prevents surprises at trial, and helps the parties evaluate their case’s strength.
Settlement Negotiations or Alternative Dispute Resolution
As your case makes its way toward a trial, attorneys for both sides will usually continue to pursue settlement negotiations or alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or arbitration. Remaining open to resolution outside of litigation can offer numerous benefits, saving you time and money and promoting a more amicable and satisfying outcome. It also allows the parties to retain control over the process while maintaining privacy and confidentiality.
Lastly, pursuing options like mediation and settlement negotiations fosters creative problem-solving and helps opposing parties find more flexible and tailored solutions that meet their interests and preserve relationships.
Cobb Cole: With You Every Step of the Way
While your original goal may be to present your case in court, multiple factors can contribute to a resolution outside the courtroom. Even if mediation or arbitration fails, new evidence or legal developments during a trial can prompt the parties to reconsider their positions.
At Cobb Cole, we understand that navigating the litigation process can be overwhelming and complex. That’s why we’re committed to guiding you every step of the way. From your initial consultation to your case’s resolution, our skilled litigation team provides unwavering support, understanding, and advocacy. We take the time to listen to your concerns, understand your goals, and develop a tailored strategy to address your unique legal needs.
We diligently manage all aspects of your case, conducting thorough research and investigation, drafting compelling legal arguments, and effectively representing you in negotiations or court proceedings. Our attorneys leverage their extensive expertise and knowledge to protect your rights and pursue the best possible outcome for your case. And we keep you informed and updated on your case’s progress, ensuring you’re empowered to make informed decisions.
While litigation can be daunting, keep in mind that it’s merely one path to resolution—many cases settle before a trial concludes. Stay focused, seek seasoned guidance, and remember the legal system is designed to ensure fairness.
Contact Cobb Cole today to learn more about what you can expect during litigation and how our Firm can help bring your legal matter to a positive conclusion.