Why Business Litigation Likely Won't Lead To A Trial
When you hear the term "business litigation," it's understandable that you might picture a trial. Ending up at trial is certainly one possible outcome of the process. Any business litigation lawyer will tell you, however, that it's not the most likely scenario. Take a look at why that is and how else your case might turn out.
The Court Isn't Interested in a Fight
Even if both sides in a matter are spoiling to go to trial, that doesn't mean the judge will have any of it. The pressure in business litigation is on the two parties to make a good-faith effort to arrive at some sort of resolution. Before a judge even humors the notion there will be a trial, it has to be clear that every reasonable option has been exhausted. If not, there's a good chance the judge will order the two sides to continue settlement negotiations.
Discovery Can Upend Cases
Particularly in business litigation efforts, the discovery process has a way of producing bombshells. Companies produce loads of paperwork, and it's easy for a party acting in good faith to lose track of something. When a business litigation lawyer gets a bunch of boxes with paperwork from discovery in it, though, it can be impressive to see how quickly they work.
The net effect is that an invoice or a copy of a memo can quickly upend the entire narrative. Suddenly, attitudes will shift and the possibility of a settlement becomes appealing.
Another factor that can rapidly upend litigation is a pre-trial motion. It's usually good form for a business litigation lawyer to make every reasonable effort to pitch potential motions that can win the case. An attorney for the defendant might motion for dismissal. Conversely, the plaintiff's side might seek summary judgment.
Pre-trial legal maneuvers can also clarify disputes over matters of law. Both sides may even agree on the facts of a case, and they may ask the judge to settle a question of law.
For example, there might be a dispute over whether force majeure, the notion that events driven by a greater power like weather or rioting, applies in a particular contract. Once the judge has ruled on this, it may become obvious who will prevail. At that point, the losing side must either settle or file an appeal. Settling has been known to be cheaper.
Contact a business litigation lawyer to learn more.