Litigation matters involve resolving disputes in the court system. The term is often associated with tort cases, but litigation can come about in all kinds of cases.
Most people think of litigation as only trial work, but the litigation process begins long before the first witness is called to testify. In fact, the vast majority of litigated cases never reach the inside of a courtroom.
In a typical legal dispute, the parties will first discuss the matter with each other directly. Once it becomes clear that a common understanding will not be reached, one or both sides will retain an attorney. After a preliminary investigation, the attorney will usually send the other party a letter that describes what the party receiving the letter must do to avoid further legal action. Parties who receive such a “demand letter” may respond by offering to do or pay less than requested, or they may issue demands of their own, or they may decide to do nothing at all.
At this point, the future litigants have no obligation to cooperate and try to reach an agreement. But as a practical matter when considering the time, expense and uncertainty of a lawsuit looming over them, many people opt to play it safe and settle the matter informally at this stage.
If a dispute cannot be put to rest through the initial negotiations, then one party will file a formal lawsuit. If either party has not yet hired an attorney, now is the time to do so. The technical rules of filing and responding to a lawsuit are complex, and even small mistakes can have a drastic effect on the ability of the litigants to obtain relief or successfully defend their interests.
Even in small disputes, an experienced litigator can give one party the upper hand. If you have been sued, or if you need to enforce your legal rights, merely hiring an attorney may lead the other side to think twice.
So if you have a litigation matter contact me and I’ll be there, fighting for you every step of the way.