This is a very common scenario in family law cases: The parties enter litigation when someone files a lawsuit. The lawsuit begins an endless stream of legal pleadings, court appearances, document preparation, depositions and all of the other parts of litigation that drive up legal bills. The parties are too mad or stubborn to really try to work out a resolution for fear of appearing weak in the eyes of the other side. So, everybody builds up their arsenals in preparation for mutually assured destruction in the courtroom.
On the day of hearing or trial, the judge asks the attorneys where the parties stand on a settlement. The judge then recommends that the parties either try to work something out in the hall or in chambers with the judge.
Then the lawyers seriously discuss the hard issues in the case and try to work out an agreement. You would be amazed at how many settlements are reached on the day of a hearing or a trial.
Sometimes this is unavoidable. But, most often it can and should be avoided. If the parties had instructed their attorneys to really explore a resolution at the beginning of the case, then much of the huge legal expense of preparing for the courtroom would have been avoided.
Is it always possible resolve a case without going to court? No. Some cases and issues are so tough and so complex that a judge needs to make a decision for the parties. However, in the majority of cases, clients can save thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars by instructing their attorney to really work at exploring settlement options at the beginning of the case, rather than on the day of trial.
After all, if you are going to settle the case on the day of your court appearance after months (or years) of litigation and tens of thousands of dollars of legal fees, why not cut to the chase and seriously explore settlement up front?
Please note that nothing on this blog should be considered legal advice and that viewing the information on this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. You are advised to consult with an attorney to confirm the current state of any legal information contained in this blog, as the law constantly changes.