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Trial Advocacy & Litigation

Understanding Trial Advocacy & Litigation

Trial advocacy is all about helping our clients get the best outcome in trials and other adversarial hearings, such as arbitration or administrative hearings. To effectively advocate on behalf of a client, an attorney must be prepared and willing to put a case before a judge or jury for a decision. In addition, a trial attorney must understand the pleading and discovery rules, the rules of evidence, and courtroom procedures. Perhaps most importantly, your trial attorney must understand and be able to apply the applicable law to your case.

The litigation process often includes pre-suit negotiations, the filing of pleadings, discovery, depositions, hearings, trials, and sometimes appeals. The litigation strategies and processes are usually similar whether your case is in probate court, county or district court, or the federal courts.

At Peetz Koerwitz & Lafleur, our attorneys know that trust and estate litigation is vastly different than litigation involving a breach of contract or wrongful death. To effectively represent your interests at trial, we will put the attorneys with the right experience and knowledge on your case.


How do I know if the litigation process is right for me?

Not all legal disputes can be settled without the intervention of a judicial proceeding, making litigation necessary in many cases. Litigation may be the best choice when a client feels that they will not reach the desired outcome through settlement negotiations or mediation. During your initial consultation, your attorney will help you determine if litigation is the right choice for your situation. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to dispute resolution.

Who covers the cost of litigation?
The general rule is that each party involved in the suit covers their own legal expenses unless a statute provides otherwise. However, this general rule varies a bit from state to state. For example, in Nebraska, you usually are not entitled to recover attorney fees on a contract dispute even if a contract provides otherwise. However, in Iowa, a prevailing party may be able to recover attorney fees if provided by contract. In addition, whether you can seek recovery of attorney fees varies greatly depending on the type of case involved. Litigation can be expensive and you should always discuss the potential costs of your attorney during your initial consultation.
What happens if I prevail in court?

If your case involves financial damages, you will get a judgment that can be enforced against the adverse party. In some instances, your judgment becomes a lien on real estate owned by the judgment debtor. Ultimately, if the debtor does not satisfy the judgment, you may be able to foreclose on real or personal property owned by the debtor. In other cases, such as a personal injury lawsuit, the judgment may be paid by the debtor’s insurer. Unfortunately, in some cases, a debtor may be “judgment proof,” meaning that they have no appreciable assets or ability to satisfy the judgment In some cases, a debtor may file bankruptcy in order to discharge the debt owed to you under the judgment. Thus, it is always important to evaluate the collectibility of a judgment prior to incurring attorney fees through litigation.

Litigation can be an overwhelming process, and, in many cases, a lengthy one. Having a skilled and experienced team of attorneys on your side will help ensure that you are taking all the necessary steps and precautions to get the best outcome for your case. If you need an attorney to file a lawsuit or if a lawsuit has been filed against you, reach out to us at Peetz Koerwitz & Lafleur today for an initial consultation. We’re here to offer thoughtful, compassionate, and informed advice and experience-driven and efficient counsel for your legal needs.