Anatomy of a Divorce Case: Phase 3: Preparing for Trial
Good attorneys prepare for trial from the beginning of a case. A trial-ready attorney has leverage over the other side in settlement negotiations. A trial-ready attorney is better prepared for routine court dates and hearings. A trial-ready attorney has the advantage when the judge sets a trial date and the other side is not ready.
Phase 3: Preparing for Trial
Preparing for trial happens at the same time as Phase 4 – Negotiating Settlement. Many attorneys and clients make the mistake of not preparing for trial and letting settlement negotiations go on for a lengthy period of time. Then client and attorney are not adequately prepared for trial and the case takes much longer to resolve. Trial prep can include additional discovery like issuing subpoenas for records or taking depositions. Subpoenas are issued by attorneys to third parties and demand records. Depositions are formal interviews taken under oath and recorded by court reporters. Depositions lock in a person’s testimony, allow you and your attorney to be prepared for trial, and can help facilitate settlement by revealing key facts or because people may settle rather than face a deposition. It can also include hiring experts to help prove your position.
If you wait to prepare for trial by telling your attorney not to hire experts or take depositions, you may be losing the upper hand in negotiations. More importantly, you may suddenly be left without enough evidence if the judge sets a trial date and you have not started preparing. Schedule a complimentary consultation with us so you can better understand how you can gain the upper hand by preparing for trial throughout your case.
Come back next week for Phase 4 – Negotiating Settlement. If you have children, see our separate series on the Anatomy of a Custody Case.
Please contact the Family Law attorneys at Bruning & Associates, P.C. at 815-455-3000 to schedule your complimentary consultation to discuss your divorce case.
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