- Top 10 Litigation Tips
- July 9, 2013 | Author: Brad A. Denton
- Law Firm: Gunderson, Denton & Peterson, P.C. - Mesa Office
1. Take the lawsuit seriously.
Even if you know you are right, and feel that there is no way you could lose, do not blow off the responsibility of going to court. Consider the merits of the other side’s case. Not being prepared to present your case may result in an unfavorable result for you.
2. Hire an Attorney
This may be the most important decision you make prior to going to court. With all the following tips, this Arizona litigation attorney should be knowledgeable on the proper procedures and strategies. Also, be sure to choose an attorney with litigation experience. More times than not, a dispute will be resolved through mediation or negotiation and not even make it to court. Finding an attorney with in court experience is important when going to court.
3. Know your burden of proof.
The burden of proof is generally on the party making the claim. This means that this party making the claim will need to prove each of their elements of the claim. The party who does not have the burden of proof has the benefit of assumption. This means that providing evidence to support this party’s claim is not even necessary; however, not supporting your claim is not usually the best litigation strategy.
4. Know the Court Rules.
Whether you are in a federal, state, or a local court, each of these courts will have their own rules and procedures that you will need to know. Additionally, each may have its own forms needed to file a claim or an answer.
5. Prepare Your Witnesses.
Are your witnesses available? Is their testimony admissible? Will they need to be deposed? Be sure that you have thoroughly prepared all of your witnesses before depositions, and before taking the stand. Once you get to court, be sure you know how your witnesses will answer every question before it gets asked.
6. Be courteous and behave in the court.
This may sound like a no brainer, but is actually often something that attorneys, and even the judge, will have to remind the parties. This includes being respectful of not only the judge and the court staff, but the opposing counsel and parties as well.
7. Does the story make sense?
Make sure that your story is believable. To best do this, consider laying out the events in chronological order, avoid gaps in the story, and avoid complex legal language. Consider your audience. Is the decision maker the judge, or is it a jury?
8. Prove every element of your case.
This includes knowing the law. The law will lay out the elements that need to be proved for your claim. For example, if you have spent a lot of time proving the facts of your case illustrating the other party’s liability, don’t forget to prove the damages suffered as well. Without that, the judge may not be able to award damages should you win.
9. Tell your attorney everything.
Be sure that your litigation attorney in Mesa knows not only all the facts that are favorable to your claim, but also the facts that may not be so favorable for you. It is imperative that your attorney knows everything so she can not only prepare your claim, but prepare defenses to your claim as well.
10.Do not be overly emotional.
It can be very costly if you are going to court just to prove a point. While you may want the vindication of having your story told in court for all to hear, do not overlook the time and expense involved in doing so. While litigation is necessary some of the time, be sure that you are open to other resolutions as well.
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Mesa, AZ 85213
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