My Case Isn’t Settling, What do I do?

If you are a litigation savvy client, you know that more than 95% of lawsuits settle before trial.  That fact may have influenced your decision to hire counsel with a great record of achieving favorable settlements while sparing the client needless stress and headaches.

But sometimes the unexpected happens and a case you were sure was going to settle doesn’t.  You find yourself at the last minute, scrambling to prepare for trial.  Should you make a last-minute switch and substitute in new counsel?  Do you need a specialist in trying cases?  How close to the start of trial is too close to make that call?  How can you be sure it’s the right decision?

When Is the Right Time to Hire Trial Counsel?

There are significant benefits to starting right from the beginning with a lawyer who can take your case all the way through jury verdict, if need be.  But even if you didn’t hire counsel with an eye toward taking the case to trial, that doesn’t mean you need to panic when the effort to settle the case breaks down.  You do, however, need to make sure any counsel you consider for taking the case knows how to take over in the late stages of litigation.

Lawyers without significant trial experience are likely to struggle with the amount of work posed by trial preparation.  Drafting an opening statement, writing witness outlines, identifying key exhibits, and preparing and responding to important pre-trial motions, all under intense time constraints, can overwhelm lawyers who have not tried complex cases before.  Often times, it’s a poor outcome at a mock trial that alerts the client that the attorneys are not ready to try the case and a substitution of counsel may be necessary.  In other instances, clients just get the sense that their attorneys are getting cold feet.

How do I Know the Right Lawyers to Try the Case?

Picking the right lawyers with the clock rapidly ticking down until the start of trial can be extremely difficult.  When you find yourself just a few months, or even weeks, out from trial, how do you know whom to hire?  In these circumstances, you need lawyers who can not only learn the facts and legal issues of the case very fast, but can also develop the themes that will help a jury understand your case and the strategies that will position your case for success.  Nobody is born with this skill set; it is one honed over years of experience.

A great last-minute trial lawyer will be able to recognize your case’s strengths and weaknesses right away.  They will identify your most important witnesses and evidence and recognize the parts of the other side’s case you need to attack hard.  They will bring together a full trial team, including graphics presenters and jury consultants, to give your case the best possible presentation.  They will work closely with your witnesses, helping them prepare to testify.  The right lawyers will hit the ground running so they can advance your case beginning on day one, rather than treating your trial like on-the-job training.

Count on Proven Results

Our attorneys have handled hundreds of jury trials to verdict, from cases we’ve had from the pre-litigation stages to ones we took over shortly before trial and everything in between.  Some of our most impressive wins are in major cases we received only a few weeks before trial.  Given the depth of our expertise, we are uniquely positioned to enter a case in the latest stages of litigation and see it through to victory.

It makes the most sense to start your case with lawyers you trust to get you all the way to a verdict.  And we pride ourselves on making sure everything we do in discovery and motion practice is geared toward winning the case (not racking up billable hours).  But if you find yourself on the eve of trial, not sure if your counsel is up for the task of trying the case, call us.  Bring us your toughest case.  We’ll get the job done.