We know that many people and business owners in Southwest Florida are not comfortable with the idea of going to court, and as such they will try to avoid litigation at all costs. At the same time, many people who have not dealt with the legal system do not even know what it means to hire a lawyer to litigate. Litigation is simply a process for handling legal disputes within the court system by filing and litigating a “lawsuit.” People who are involved in a lawsuit are called litigants, and the lawyer handling the suit is a litigator. Litigants can be individual people, a business, a homeowner’s associations, or even a government agency.
The lawsuit may go all the way to trial or may be decided by a judge before trial. During the process of litigation, a settlement can happen at any point. That’s is why we go through the process of mediation, negotiation, and arbitration first. However, sometimes the only way to come to a settlement or resolution is to go to trial. During the litigation process you may go through a series of hearings and temporary orders before final orders are reached. Only after a trial with witnesses are final orders entered into the record if you go to trial.
Rest assured that ZinnLaw will fight for you every step of the litigation process, no matter what course of action is needed to help resolve your legal issue. We will prepare the best strategy for trial, while taking a pragmatic approach to litigating your case.
Sometimes There are Reasons You MUST Litigate
At ZinnLaw we will make every effort to settle your legal dispute through the steps of mediation, negotiation, and arbitration first, but sometimes you simply must litigate in court to get the resolution you are seeking. There are times when it’s is just best to take your case all the way to trial, and sometimes even appeals court when no mutually agreeable solution can be foundif you believe the trial judge or jury made a mistake. Sometimes nNobody can force the other side to settle, except a jury and a judge, and when you’re at that point, you want to have a lawyer in your corner who is as well-versed in courtroom litigation as we are at ZinnLaw.
Our lawyers at ZinnLaw are familiar with all the rules of civil procedure in the state of Florida, as well as local court procedures here in Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, Glades, and DeSoto counties. Why is that important? Because, as lawyers we need to work within the proper procedures, responses and time periods within which a litigating party must file certain documents. Your case can be dismissed if important deadlines are missed, or if the necessary documents are not provided in a timely manner.
Many lawyers have their own law office and legal team and never go to court to litigate. Our lawyers at ZinnLaw are well versed in trial law and have a lot of experience litigating. When you are in court, you really need attorneys on your side who can think on their feet due to a vast amount of experience because things happen “on the fly,” including new evidence introduced at the last minute or a judge who wants a deeper inquiry. As lawyers with a great deal of experience at this, we will be an invaluable addition to your case.
When Litigation is The Way to Go
Sometimes when you are in a dispute with someone over legal matters, it just seems like it will not get resolved no matter what you try to do. At that point, most people get frustrated enough to decide to take the other party to court to litigate the case and find a satisfying resolution. To be honest, sometimes you really have no option left other than litigation. To get real satisfaction, you need the help of experienced lawyers like those at ZinnLaw. Here are some of the situations where litigation is absolutely the best solution:
When Time is of the Essence: Sometimes a legal case must be filed with the court quickly in order to preserve your property, or to prevent you from losing money. There are often circumstances when you must go to court in a timely fashion to seek equitable relief. Here are some examples of those kinds of cases:
- Someone impinges on your property while making changes to their own property (i.e. digging trenches, cutting down trees, or building a pond)
- Your company’s intellectual property or trade secrets are being stolen
- Someone is threatening to sell property in which you have an interest
- Someone trespassed or is trespassing on your property
These are situations that represent circumstances where time is of the essence and delaying might have dire consequences. Litigation in court is really your only option for immediate relief in these cases.
When the Other Party in the Dispute is Unresponsive to Settling: At ZinnLaw we will make every effort to settle your case out of court, but sometimes the other party just will not respond to emails, letters, or phone calls, leaving no other option than going to court. When the other side is unresponsive, they usually are not willing to resolve the dispute until they are forced to by a court of law.
When You Need a Jury Decision: Sometimes the specifics of your case are emotionally charged, and in those cases a jury decision can be to your advantage. For example, product liability cases that result in illness or other medical issues, consumer protection lawsuits, or cases similar to these are often better fought before a jury.
When There is a Lot of Money at Stake: The decision to litigate should always be driven by finances, not your emotions. Make sure you weigh the cost of legal action with the potential financial relief you could receive before making the decision to hire a lawyer and go to court. At ZinnLaw we can help guide you in the right direction on this because we have the experience to know what will work best for your case. There are a number of circumstances when the cost of litigation is lower than what is at stake for your business.
- Your ability to do business is hindered by a breach of contract
- Your business is impacted by a third party who refuses to stop its behavior
- Your reputation is at stake
- Your customers or employees are being taken away
When Another Party is at Risk of Harm: If you run a company that relies on subcontractors, your company’s reputation is on the line the entire time the subcontractor is doing its work. If its work is subpar, or it puts your clients in a position where bodily harm could happen to them, or harm to their property is possible, then the subcontractor has put your reputation at risk. You owe it to your company and to your clients to litigate in this type of situation or your company could face legal and public relations consequences.
When You Cannot Even Communicate With The Other Party: When your legal dispute involves big business, like healthcare entities, manufacturers, or other large corporate entities, it can be difficult to get it resolved because you cannot reach the decision makers. That is when filing a lawsuit can make a difference. Once you file, the issue will get to the higher-ups quickly, and their legal team will typically want to resolve the issue favorably, so it does not go to court and get onto the evening news. This is a tactic that clients sometimes use only when a serious breach of contract has occurred or if it involves significant financial repercussions. At ZinnLaw, you can trust us to give you the kind of legal advice that best serves you. We know that filing a lawsuit against a large corporation should be a last resort after trying all other avenues to settle the dispute.
When It is to Your Advantage to Be First: If you have been threatened with a lawsuit, it is to your advantage to file one first. This will position you as a plaintiff rather than a defendant, which is a tactical advantage. We can advise you about whether this is the way to go once we have gone over your specific case with you.
When You Want to Set a Precedent: One of the goals litigation can help achieve is the resolution of a dispute which then becomes a legal precedent to discourage similar conduct in the future. By winning the case, you are sending a message to other potential defendants that you cannot be coerced into a settlement, and their chances of winning are diminished by your initial precedent.
When You Want to Fix Public Policy: The process to change public policy through legislation is a slow process that requires political savvy and legal expertise most people just do not have. But sometimes litigation can achieve your goals by forcing the courts to look more closely at current public policy. This is a promising tactic if a new public policy is harming your business in some way and you do not want to concede to whatever new requirements are being demanded by the policy.