If you’re considering a civil suit against a person or business, there’s a lot to think about before jumping right in, and that’s why so many attorneys have consultation services that are either free or steeply discounted. It provides access to possible clients, a chance to get advice in a setting usually covered by privilege, and an opportunity to think about whether the suit is the right way to go. If you’ve already thought through enough to know you have a case and the resources for pursuing it, then there are a few things you can do to help yourself out as you get ready to get the ball rolling.
1. Check Out Local Attorneys
The practice of law is just as much about the people involved in a given court system as it is about the letter of the law. Judges all have their own backgrounds and priorities, which means that no matter how hard they work to be totally impartial, there will be advantages to having the right one on a case. When you work with an attorney who understands the local judicial scene, this can help you because that professional will understand the judges who will probably hear your case. They might even be able to work some magic to put it in front of one that has the knowledge and prior litigation experience to better understand the nuances of your argument. While judges work hard to abstain from preferential treatment for one party over another, an informed judge with experience in the case law informing your position can only help you when the facts are on your side.
2. Be Aware of Local Politics
If your civil suit will be heard in a state court setting like your local town or county courts, then there’s a good chance the judge will be elected and not appointed. This can complicate any justice or magistrate’s position on issues that are important to the town because their positions and past records come into public discussion during election years. Depending on the subject of your case, its proximity to an election, and the local political temperature, there could be a lot of outside factors that have the potential to influence your success. You and your lawyer need to understand that and build a strategy that at least accounts for it.
3. Understand What Experts Can Do
Expert witnesses are quite persuasive, and they help by introducing important but complex topics and then explaining their relevance to the case. Qualifying experts can be difficult, though. That’s why understanding the first two points and using them to your advantage is so important. If you’re working with a judge who has relevant experience, then it’s easier to make the case for your experts. For example, civil cases pertaining to injury or medical malpractice in Ossining, NY, might try to steer themselves toward a judge with a lot of litigation experience in the field, like Michael Tawil.
Let Your Attorney Take the Lead
Your choice of attorney and disclosure of information that helps them find the right witnesses and evidence are the things you have the most control over when it comes to your case. Understanding extra strategic elements like local political issues and expert witnesses can help you work more actively with your lawyer, but the biggest and most important choice is the lawyer. Find one who understands the local courts and their players, so they have the tools to navigate these extra issues.