General Litigation

5 Things Considered: Considerations Before Filing A Lawsuit

You’ve been wronged.  Your rights have been violated.  You want justice.  We get it.  Before running to court, you should consider several factors to determine whether filing a lawsuit will be an optimal solution for you.

1. Fees and Costs: Lawsuits can get expensive quickly.  In addition to hard costs, such as filing the complaint, paying court reporters for transcripts, etc., depending on the fee arrangement you have with your attorney, you may have to pay your attorney on an hourly or monthly basis.  Or, if on a contingency arrangement, a percentage of any award you may receive from settlement or trial.  It’s important to weigh these fees and costs against any potential recovery you may be awarded through litigation.  If there is a substantial likelihood that the fees and costs may exceed any potential award, you may reconsider filing the lawsuit.  Bezdik Kassab can offer you a variety of fee arrangements that are conducive to your budget – reduced hourly fee; flat fee; monthly retainer; and/or contingency fee.

2. Stress: At the inception of any controversy or dispute, you may be motivated to immediately file suit.  But it’s never good to react on impulse or emotion, especially during a stressful event.  Litigation, by its very nature, is adversarial.  Always anticipate the stress that is associated with litigation.  Though your attorney will litigate the case, you, as the client should always be kept apprised of developments in the lawsuit, including strategy, risks and settlement authority.  If the case is unresolved early in the litigation, you may be subject to a deposition, where the opposing party will have an opportunity to ask you a series of questions, which you must answer under oath.  And if the case goes to trial, you may be required to testify on the stand before a judge and/or jury.  At Bezdik Kassab, we timely keep you apprised of developments in your case and effectively manage the litigation or transaction to give you peace of mind. 

3. Time: Sometimes lawsuits can be resolved quickly by motion or early settlement.  However, if the case is not dismissed or resolved, expect litigation to drag on, sometimes up to two years, if not more.  Courts are heavily backlogged.  Often times, a judge will be unable to schedule a trial date for at least one or two years from the filing of the complaint.  If you decide to file a lawsuit, be prepared for the long haul.  At Bezdik Kassab, our objective is to effectively and efficiently litigate and aggressively negotiate settlement to dispose of your case sooner than later.

4. Outcome: Litigation involves strategy and calculated risk.  You may have the best case in the world with smoking gun evidence, but, if a case proceeds to trial, a judge or jury may view your case differently.  Before filing a lawsuit, consider the fact that trial may not go your way even if you think justice is on your side.  Also, consider whether or not the party against whom you are seeking a judgment is collectible – perhaps he or she has no money and is judgment proof.  As discussed above, it is important to weigh the pros and cons before you initiate a lawsuit.  Contact Bezdik Kassab for a consultation with Raffi and/or Sareen to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your case. 

5. Privacy: Lawsuits are a matter of public record. Though there are various ways to keep information private, such as through protective orders and motions to seal the record, there is a risk that information you put at issue in the lawsuit can become public record. Consider your privacy and what information may be exposed before filing a lawsuit. 

The above considerations are not intended to be an exhaustive list. The information provided here does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.  Readers of this website should contact their attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter.  No reader, user, or browser of this site should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information on this site without first seeking legal advice from counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.  Only your individual attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation.  Use of, and access to, this website or any of the links or resources contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader, user, or browser and website authors, contributors and law firm.  All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this site are hereby expressly disclaimed.  The content on this posting is provided “as is;” no representations are made that the content is error-free.

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