Thoughts

Why Sometimes Going to Trial Is Just Not Worth the Trouble

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Going to trial looks like an attractive legal option when you hold all of the cards. But what happens when you’re in a ‘not so ideal’ situation? Sometimes, the best way to prepare for a trial is to avoid it altogether. 

The Truth

If you read any of the articles on lawalways, then you’ll notice a pattern in how the law is explained. When setting up a case, your truth goes unchallenged. Once you’re in a courtroom, that truth is attacked from several different angles. Truth in a trial can also be your biggest enemy by leaving your defense wide open. The harder you stick to the truth, the less flexible you are in other areas. Honesty is expected in the courtroom, but that doesn’t mean the other side won’t exploit it when necessary. 

Leading Questions

One of the ways truth is attacked is with leading questions. When a lawyer asks you a question, listen carefully to every word. A good strategy is to take a small pause so that you don’t answer before they’re finished. Answering part of a long question has never worked out for anyone on the stand, and is likely to have a bad impact on your case. Stick to the truth, but don’t walk blindly into a wordplay trap. Leading questions are impossible to answer without pretrial training. If you don’t have the time to practice, then it’s a good idea to avoid a trial. 

Rules That Work Against You

Trial is nothing like what you see on television. The glamorized version shown on Law & Order is like a dramatic Cliff Notes reading of a real trial. You won’t get to rebut long questions with statements of your own. Answers have to be short and on point, or they will be rejected immediately. Only the facts are accepted, so this will automatically put you in a vulnerable position. Without an attorney’s guidance, you’ll end up answering questions that paint the entire case in a bad light. Technically, a skilled lawyer can control the courtroom by forcing you to give the responses they expect. This will all go on record, and can be a pain when you’re forced to stick to a specific script. 

Cost

The biggest reason to avoid trial has to do with the cost. In some situations, whatever judgement you get will be swallowed up by court costs and fees. Unless you’re going for the emotional victory, very little financial success can be found in a trial scenario without proper professional support. There have been countless cases where financial success was found outside of the courtroom. Picking and choosing your battles is both important and smart for coming out on top with the law. If it can be done without a trial, then it’s usually favorable to lean towards the sure win than to take a gamble in court. 

Pick Your Battles

Avoiding trial is not a bad thing if you have a plan B in place. Trials are a serious matter, and the courts are not for the faint of heart. So, put thought into your personal situation and let the professionals carry you to victory.  

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