by George Wickhorst, Esq., Of-Counsel
I watched the newest Marvel installment of Avengers: Endgame with my 13-year-old son who insisted that I re-watch the Avengers: Infinity Wars, which immediately preceded Endgame. As it turns out, the Avengers success in Endgame was a product of a well thought out and perfectly executed plan that was set in motion in Infinity Wars and which calculated for every possible scenario that the Avengers would encounter.
A good litigation attorney approaches each case in very much the same way: Put together a litigation strategy that accounts for all of the various scenarios that can arise during the prosecution or defense of a case and then execute that plan.
At the outset of any case in which I am asked to handle, I begin with a fact-finding mission. Whether a client wants to file a lawsuit against someone who has harmed him or whether my client is the subject of a pending lawsuit, the underlying facts are critical. Prior to a face-to-face consultation with a client, I will begin the process by getting as much detail as I can over the telephone. If there are any documents that might be relevant, I will ask to see those prior to the consultation. Finally, prior to my first meeting with the client, if necessary, I will do preliminary research which may include background checks on the people involved in the dispute and legal research to identify potential claims or counterclaims that may exist. While a client may not know it, many times, I have already begun to formulate a litigation strategy prior to the first face-to-face meeting with the client.
During my first meeting I continue with the fact-finding; affirming what we spoke about on our first call and digging for more information with an eye towards filling any gaps that may help with the prosecution or defense of our case. I will also be accessing the clients “stomach” for litigation.
Litigation is a time consuming, mentally and emotionally challenging journey that can last from six months to two years depending on the type of case. As I discuss the various steps in the process I will advise on the anticipated time frames for the completion of each phase, what the client can expect to have to be personally involved in (document review, depositions, etc), and what the anticipated costs will be through each phase. To me, it is imperative that a client know exactly what he or she is in for.
Finally, I advise the client on the best and worst possible outcomes. It may not be what they want to hear, but it is what is needed. Also, sometimes a quick settlement requiring that the client pay may not be what the client wants to hear, but it may be what makes the best business sense. Every case is different, but ultimately, my goal is to provide the client with the most information as possible so that he or she can make an informed decision as to what is best for them or their business.
If you are involved in litigation or need to bring a claim, contact Ser & Associates and let us prepare a plan that will get you to the “endgame”. Contact us at 305-222-7282.