November 11, 2014 Articles

Seven Lessons for Litigating Your First Case Through Trial

Universal lessons to help you to manage your case and obtain a favorable verdict.

By Michael Luongo

The vast majority of civil lawsuits will never go to trial. Trial is costly and time-consuming, and there is no guarantee that a judge will accept your interpretation of the law or that a jury will side with your version of the facts. Given this uncertainty, most litigants will work to negotiate with their adversaries to achieve a mutually agreeable settlement outside the courtroom.

Not all cases are amenable to compromise, however. Whether the parties are too far off in their settlement demands or the plaintiff is seeking relief that is untenable to the defendant, trial may become the only viable option to resolve a claim.

One of the first files I took on as a new attorney turned out to be such a case. What’s more, I would be defending the lawsuit on my own, without co-counsel to lean on. While litigating a case from the pleadings through trial may seem like a heavy burden for freshly minted attorneys, there are several universal lessons that I took away from the experience that can help you to manage your case and best position your client to obtain a favorable verdict at trial.


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