Litigation Techniques

Monday, July 6th, 2015
Litigation is a tried and true method of resolving disputes in front of a court of law. According to West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, litigation is “an action brought in court to enforce a particular right.” American law has its basis in the British legal system that was in place when the Colonies won their independence. This is an adversarial system where both sides present their case and let either a judge or jury make the final decision. In most cases, the plaintiff and defendant come to an agreement before trial or the final verdict comes in. The litigation techniques used in a case cover a broad range, from simple examination of witnesses to the use of technology based exhibits, and everything in between.

Pre-trial Litigation Techniques

Attorneys use a variety of techniques during the litigation of a case. These techniques all begin before the trial gets underway.

Researching relevant legal cases is one litigation technique used by attorneys. American case law provides the basis on which cases are determined. The attorney researches past cases to find ones that match the circumstances of the present case. Quite often, this research brings up legal points which can make the party’s case stronger or completely undermine it.

Investigating the facts of the case, known as discovery, is another common litigation technique. During the discovery period, the attorneys in the case will request documents and evidence from the opposition. These attorneys will also interview witnesses under oath to extract information relevant to the case. This interview often brings forward details that are relevant to both sides of the case.

Negotiation, mediation, and arbitration are three common options for litigation resolution. Negotiation happens directly between the attorneys and their respective clients. Mediation is done with the help of a neutral third party. Neither mediation or negotiation agreements are binding until both parties sign off on the agreement. Arbitration involves an attorney presenting the case to a neutral third party arbitrator who makes a decision on the case. With arbitration, the decision is final and binding on both parties.

Litigation Strategies Going To Trial

Trials follow rules of procedure that both parties must follow. Yet, a good attorney is a master of these rules and can use a variety of litigation strategies to present a case in its best light.

Bringing expert witnesses to the stand is one litigation option attorneys can deploy. These experts can provide answers to specific facts in a particular case. When the facts of a case are not easy to comprehend, an expert can provide testimony to bring clear answers to the attention of the court.

When arguing the case in front of the court, the attorney can use a single argument or deploy several arguments. This litigation technique depends on the case and the facts involved.

Even the tone of the attorney is relevant to trail strategy. The attorney can take a conciliatory tone when speaking to the court, if the idea is to garner sympathy. A harsh or warlike tone is the option when the idea is to get the judge or jury upset with the opposing side.

Trial exhibits and demonstrations are another part of litigation strategy. Trial exhibits include things like contracts, deeds, maps, or videos that show the parties’ relationship or that demonstrate mechanical failures or actions.

After Trial Litigation Options

After trial is complete, litigation may not be over. The losing side may appeal the decision based on certain legal arguments. The decision on which arguments to make on appeal is a critical appellate technique.

If you are in the midst of litigation, have been sued, or are thinking about filing a lawsuit, you need good legal representation. Contact an attorney at Brown & Fortunato Our Litigation team can help you with all phases of your case. Give us a call at (806) 345-6300. You are also welcome to stop by our office at 905 S. Fillmore, Suite 400, in Amarillo, Texas. If you would like to send an email, you can do so through our Contact Us page. We look forward to answering any questions you may have.

This information is subject to change. Please check for updates that are more recent than the published date of this article.