While litigation and the courts are a great way to regain losses, potential clients should be prepared for a fight. Before any action is filed, an attorney should review the case to discuss what legal bases the client has for the claim, the client's likelihood of recovery, and the client's chances of prevailing. In addition to this, clients should consider several other factors before filing of the lawsuit.
First, litigation can be expensive. Knowledgeable attorneys that protect their client's interests and keep their clients informed are in demand and can be expensive. Courts also charge a number of fees to file actions and bring motions which can add up over the lifespan of a case. It is important that potential clients balance the risk versus the reward before pursuing an action.
Second, many clients are not aware of the invasion of privacy a lawsuit may bring. During discovery, the courts will allow any document request or deposition question as long as it is relevant to the case and likely to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Note that the requirement is not that the document request or question is requesting something admissible, but rather that it MAY lead to some piece of admissible evidence. While attorneys may head off some of these questions with objections, they must use their objections strategically and a judge may allow certain questions despite an objection.
Finally, taking a case from the complaint all the way through trial, and potentially collections, can be a long and time consuming process. Hiring a competent attorney can take a large part of this burden off of the client's shoulders but the client will still need to be involved. Litigation is an excellent way to right and recover from wrongs, but it is a long process that should be considered rationally.
It is crucial to speak to a competent attorney if you are considering litigation. A knowledgeable attorney can help analyze your case and any evidence, consider the short and long term aspects of the case, and help you decide whether it makes sense to pursue the matter. An experienced attorney may be able to suggest alternatives to litigation that may be less costly and time consuming. The Loftin Firm has a number of experienced litigators who can provide you with an objective view of your case, explain the litigation process, and discuss any hurdles you may face.
Liam Perry is an Associate Attorney at The Loftin Firm. For questions relating to this blog post or any other California real estate, land use, corporate, or estate planning matter, contact The Loftin Firm at (760) 814-9649.