The Law can be a powerful tool when used wisely. The law is there for a reason, to settle disputes, right wrongs, and help with an orderly flow of rights. The problem is that fewer and fewer lawyers are relying on the power of law. With trial dates hard to come by, and fewer lawyers going to trial, the law of pomposity has replaced legal rules. When you never have to prove your legal arguments in court before a judge or jury, you can take whatever unreasonable position you want. Just like you can brag about being the world’s best football player so long as you never have to play in a game. But come game day, the results on the field tell the true story—not the flow of hot air coming out of your mouth.
What clients really need more than anything in their legal case is resolution. The financial and emotional toll of a lawsuit goes up substantially over time. If you are going to win, you want to know that quickly. If you are going to lose, you want to know that even sooner. And if you are going to settle, the sooner the better. Unfotunately, our system does not always live up to our expectations; especially in our ever connected world where requests for products and information are instantly fulfilled. The court system is not so instant.
I can honestly attest to the fact that the Judges, attorneys, clerks and staff of our court system in California are a highly dedicated group of professionals. They are able to move the system along on far too few resources and those resources seem to be getting stretched thinner all the time. In the end, getting to trial quickly is not so easy. And the longer it takes to get a trial date, the longer your case drags on in court.
The goal in every case should be to prepare for trial. Even if the trial date does not come as quickly as you’d like, preparing for trial will allow you to obtain a trial date as soon as you can in our court system. Trial dates are great because it gives you an end-date for resolution. And many cases settle once the trial date is looming.
You cannot control the speed at which our system operates, but you can best prepare yourself to say “yes” to a trial date once the opportunity arises. And the sooner you say “yes” to trial, the sooner you can resolve your matter (for better or worse) and get on with the rest of your life.