3 Ways To Avoid Going To Trial

Judge vaughn r. walker

If you’re involved in a conflict that could potentially turn into a costly legal battle, you are probably already budgeting for an expensive lawyer and a trial case. Some would say that a trial is the cornerstone of our legal system, and while the movies certainly push this idea when portraying popular historical class actions and civil rights cases, (Amistad, Erin Brockovich, etc), trials are also expensive and time consuming. Depending on what kind of case you have, a trial may not be necessary. Below are a few alternative dispute resolution tactics you might want to consider before hiring Perry Mason:
1. Mediation
Mediation is an especially good option for more ephemeral complaints, such as a possible case of employment discrimination or sexual misconduct. Unlike a quantitative issue such as labor racketeering, often accusations of sexual harassment or prejudice are difficult to prove, but the threat of going public with allegations and the risk of a company or individual offender being tried in the court of public opinion or in the newspapers is often enough to bring the defendant to the table. Mediation provides that table and a fair, impartial ear to hammer out the details. What’s more, mediation services are almost always more affordable than formal counsel.
2. Mock Trial
Often, people find themselves in situations where they want to take something to court but aren’t entirely sure of their chances. One way to get a better sense of whether or not you and your lawyer will win is to ask your lawyer to conduct a mock trial with a colleague. A mock trial is basically a pretend trial that allows a lawyer to experiment with their arguments and have weaknesses or holes in the case demonstrated to them via the pretend process.
3. Arbitration
This is a particularly popular step in a lot of potential class action law suits. Class arbitration is a potential way to settle what could become a class action lawsuit with an independent, third party arbitrator in private. The benefits of class arbitration are that they are cheaper than class action law suits and they skirt potential bad press. The downsides of class arbitration are that, if the offended parties feel they have a very strong case, they might miss out on the damages a jury trial would have gleaned.
We hope this was helpful. Be sure to let us know how your situation panned out in the comments section.