Fort Lauderdale Attorneys For Dispute Resolution
Fort Lauderdale Attorneys For Dispute Resolution
When people hear the term litigation, what usually comes to mind are the filing of a formal complaint and presenting the case to a Judge and/or Jury. Litigation includes any number of activities before, during, and after a lawsuit. It also covers pre-suit negotiations, mediation and arbitration, dispute resolution, motion practice and appeals. Litigation, defined simply, is the undertaking of any legal action to enforce or defend a legal right or claim.
Resorting to litigation can be extremely costly, time-consuming and emotional. Therefore, it has become a popular philosophy among dispute resolution lawyers to resort to litigation as the last option. For a good reason, roughly 95 percent of cases are settled outside of court through some sort of alternative resolution, coming to an agreement between parties.
Litigation Before The Lawsuit
The moment someone decides to formally enforce or defend legal rights, litigation sets in motion. However, in most cases, a sort of litigation activities are engaged before the lawsuit (pre-suit). This is usually strategically implemented to settle matters quicker and cheaper. In addition, pre-suit litigation is specific to the subject matter and differs according to the circumstances influencing a particular case.
Prior to any step in any litigation, investigation must come first. Without information about the offense that transpired, litigation is rendered meaningless. Attorneys or dispute resolution lawyers usually carry out extensive independent investigations to gather the facts and figure out potential outcomes of a particular case prior to filing suit. What makes a thorough investigation is focusing on the actual issues of the case and being able to specifically present proof to satisfy the violated party and his attorney that there was indeed harm present caused by the potentially defending party.
Usually, in order to avoid the cost and inconvenience of a formal lawsuit, a pre-suit litigation that involves negotiations between parties is conducted. A demand letter will be sent to the alleged party that caused the harm and will suggest that the wronged party has a basis for the claim and strong evidence including documentation detailing the value of the harm caused.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (Facilitation, Mediation, Arbitration)
Alternative dispute resolution or simply “ADR” takes the form of either facilitation, mediation or arbitration. ADR may occur prior to suit and sometimes take place instead of a formal lawsuit. Arbitration (court case) is the formal process while facilitation and mediation are largely informal. In a facilitation or mediation, there will be attempts to negotiate a settlement between the two sides.
This is what most people think of when the word litigation is mentioned. A lawsuit involves the filing a formal complaint by a plaintiff. A defendant then files an answer after being notified of the impending court case. Moreover, litigation of a formal lawsuit covers three very important stages which are:
Discovery is when a formal investigation into the facts of a lawsuit is carried out. This is primarily composed of exchanges of information and evidence between the plaintiff and the defending party. Written discovery requests like interrogatories or written questions, documents and evidence, as well as requests for admission are traded between attorneys. Depositions are also involved in discovery wherein questions of the parties and sometimes of third party witnesses are formally asked by attorneys.
Motion practice is what attorneys engage in during the discovery period. It’s a procedure where a party petitions the court through an attorney to come up with a decision about the case’s disputed aspect. The presiding judge will be presented oral arguments on top of short, targeted briefs in the event of a motion practice. Motions may also include requests to extend the duration for discovery or to allot dispositive motions like summary judgment motions.
When a case moves to trial, this means that all pre-trial motions have been heard, discovery has closed and ADR is no longer desired. With a good reason, the vast majority of litigation never reaches this stage. Trials are expensive and can be a gamble for either party. There will be occasions where attorneys agree to a bench trial. In a bench trial, the presiding judge will be the one to make the ultimate decision pertaining to the liability.
After a verdict is rendered, litigation continues. Say, the losing party is unsatisfied with the decision and finds a rationale to appeal to a higher court or the money awarded is subject to dispute or negotiation may necessitate post-trial litigation. Litigation is an ongoing process that persists even after the end of a trial. Even if both parties accept the jury’s verdict, motions and orders as well as necessary hearings to properly close a case will be present.
How Magnolia Law Can Help
At Magnolia Law, our litigation experience is leveraged to handle your case strategically and we will work to compile evidence in order to effectively represent you. A dispute resolution lawyer at Magnolia Law will do what works for you may it be facilitation, mediation, arbitration or any other legal procedure that is best for your case. Our understanding of the methodology and psychology behind ADR (facilitation, mediation, arbitration) among other legal procedures ensures delivering the best results for your best interest. Talk to us today to see how a lawyer for dispute resolution can help you.