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When parties to a lawsuit are beginning to look for counsel, tempers are sensitive and motivation to move forward in litigation is high. The parties retain counsel, file their claims and then…what?

Litigation is rarely a fast and fair remedy to any problem. Once suit is filed, the parties are set to undergo a rigorous set of procedural events that are costly, frustrating and seemingly inconsequential.

On the road to trial, your claim will likely be subjected to the “discovery process,” and a number of motion hearings. In plain English, discovery is used by the parties to uncover information about the other parties’ claims or defenses, and is designed to avoid a devastating surprise at trial. Motions are routinely filed to request a ruling on certain pre-trial disputes; oftentimes, if these dispute are not resolved prior to trial, your position on the issue is waived.

What does this mean? This means the road to trial is long. The process will likely take more than 12 months, and cost thousands.

At Smiley Law Group, we like to explain to clients that the legal system is designed to keep people out of it, and should be used as a last resort. These delays, expenses and frustrations lead to settlements, which is how most cases are resolved.

These realities should be considered by all litigants when deciding how or whether to proceed with suit. Parties must ask themselves: It is worth it?

Sometimes, litigation is worth the risks and frustration, and sometimes, it is not. Moreover, all savvy litigants understand that the risks, expenses and headaches are your adversary’s burden as well.

There are ways to manage litigation expenses and risks…but more on that later.

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Scott Wolfe
Scott Wolfe, Jr. obtained his J.D. degree from Loyola University of New Orleans, and his B.A. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. In 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, Scott was recognized as a Leader in Law by CityBusiness Magazine. The son and grandson of general contractors, Scott is a construction litigator in the Pacific Northwest, and the founding member of the bi-coastal law firm, Wolfe Law Group. Scott is also the founder and CEO of Express Lien, Inc., a legal document preparation service for contractors. In 2008, City Business Magazine recognized Scott as one of its Innovators of the Year for the Express Lien concept. As an entrepreneur himself, Scott has a strong background in business and commercial transactions and laws. He focuses his practice on the legal issues facing the construction industry, and has represented clients in multi-million dollar construction disputes in litigation and alternative dispute resolution proceedings. Scott is a LEED AP.
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