As opposed to what you may have seen on television, being an effective lawyer does not mean putting on a “dog and pony show” for the client’s benefit. TV lawyers threaten, intimidate, use rude language, jump up on tables, and get red in the face about almost everything. This makes for good entertainment, but real lawyers are nothing like that.
In real life, however, table jumpers are not taken seriously by the Court. Cordiality to the opposing lawyer and civility to the Court are helpful and expected. If both sides behave with cordiality, settlement is much more likely to occur. Just because lawyers are cordial does not mean that they are “in cahoots” against their clients; it does mean that they abide by the rules on the playing field.
Family lawyer Melissa Graham-Hurd believes that settlement of issues and cases is the preferred method of determining issues at hand because it helps the parties resolve their own lives, rather than have the Court decide the client’s future for them by issuing decisions that can have lasting impact. Settlement of issues or cases will also usually reduce costs and expenses.
A case is more likely to settle when discovery is done freely, voluntarily and openly. Full disclosure is the hallmark of a negotiated settlement, because it is usually not in anybody’s best interests to either settle a case without having all of the information from the other side or to conceal information from the other side and run the risk of having settlement overturned by a court because of the concealment.
Settlement is easier if important information is given to the other side before they even ask for it because this promotes the atmosphere of cooperation and settlement. Stonewalling on either side will result in discovery motions and tactics which can only increase costs and create mistrust, which is certainly not conducive to settlement.
Settling the case does not mean caving in to the demands of the other side. It does mean working cooperatively to achieve a lasting negotiated agreement. It is much easier for folks to abide by their own agreements rather than having to obey a court order.
Attorney Melissa Graham-Hurd believes that people should be in charge of resolving their own issues unless it is absolutely necessary to seek court intervention.
THIS INFORMATION IS INTENDED TO BE A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF SETTLING DISPUTES AND IS NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE ON YOUR PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES. IT IS ONLY INTENDED TO ASSIST YOU IN UNDERSTANDING THE PROCESS.
IF YOU SHOULD HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT THE OFFICE TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT – 330-996-4099.