Preparing For Civil Litigation Your Options

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Civil trials are a far cry from the typical trials that you see on TV and in film. While a murder trial is obviously a major undertaking, it’s also fairly straightforward in terms of how charges are brought up and carried out. Civil litigation often concerns lawsuits, and it can be difficult for a person to decide whether or not to pursue a lawsuit in the first place. Many people don’t feel as if they can realistically pursue and win a personal injury litigation case, even if they know that they’ve been wronged. This is often because the wronged party is often standing up against a large business or someone with greater resources than their own, especially in cases that involve professional malpractice. Nobody would say that complex civil litigation cases are easy; but they can be won, or at least brought the point where a settlement is reached. Perhaps what’s most important to complex civil litigation cases is figuring out your pre-litigation strategy with your attorney. This could be done in a variety of ways, as we’ll explore below — whether through mediation or mock trial hearings. What’s most important for you as a client is to listen to your attorney’s advice, and trust them. Let’s explore how you can prepare for your civil litigation case.

Mediation: Is It Right For Your Case?

For some people, winning a case isn’t as important as settling. There’s no shame in settling, especially when it comes to personal injury cases. Settlement money can help the injured party pay for damages, whether they’re medical bills or fees related to property damage. The issue with a trial is that, even if you win, you may have to deal with court fees and increased lawyers’ fees. In fact, many civil cases don’t even end up going to trial because they’re easier to settle beforehand; in 1962, an estimated 11.5% of federal civil cases went to trial. Comparably, only about 1% of federal civil cases go to trial today. Mediation can help you avoid trial by working out your issues with the other party beforehand. This can be beneficial to complex civil litigation cases in that the injured party can end up with a settlement that they want and need, and the offending party can avoid being dragged through a trial that they aren’t prepared to face. A mediation, in most cases, should at least be attempted — but clients should be advised ahead of time that they don’t always work. Sometimes, a trial is going to happen no matter what. In that case, mock trial hearings can be important parts of preparing for a complex civil litigation trial.

Mock Trial Hearings: Thorough Preparation

So, what is a mock trial hearing? Essentially, a mock trial gives attorneys a chance to go through their trial and their strategy without any real consequences. They’ll have a mock jury ready to survey their strategy and give tips on what can be improved. They can even show the jury certain witnesses and see how they test in terms of believability, among other things. The great thing about mock trials is that it gives you a real sense of how your trial will go, and allows you to have a realistic idea of what kind of outcome to expect. Sometimes, mock trial hearings lead to civil cases being dropped entirely. Most often, however, they allow the injured party and their team to figure out the best possible strategy without taking any risks.

Pre-Litigation Preparation: Consulting Experts

Many consulting firms have real experts ready to consult. A consulting judge may have overseen over 150 jury trials, and held over 150 claim construction hearings. Another may have served as a Judge of the United States district and as a United States Magistrate Judge. These people are experienced, they’re honest, and they know what a convincing case looks like. You can never go wrong when consulting with experts; because whether or not you take their advice, you at least know that you’ve explored all of your options.

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