There are certain skills that as we go through life we must obtain. One of those of those skills is knowing when enough is enough and it’s time to walk away. And it is a skill to be able to recognize that and act on the recognition. This skill is especially relevant in any type of legal process. The reason why is that sometimes moving forward is not the best action you can take and that’s a big decision, but hopefully some of the considerations below will help to illustrate good ways to analyze the choices made as a client.
We’ll start with an example of a situation where a big decision must be made: do you file a lawsuit?
That decision should be informed by a multitude of factors and most of them have nothing to do with the law. I know, the law not being one of the main contenders seems like an odd stance, but there are so many relevant human considerations that should be taken into account instead. To take care of this, let’s suppose that the question of filing a lawsuit has already been decided – there are grounds to file, the Firm agreed, and the only decision to be made is whether to go for it.
As a client, certain things may be helpful to consider in this situation: family circumstances, time, financial ability, and emotional wellbeing. To begin with, family circumstances matter more than it may seem at first blush. The litigation process can take years and years to work your way through, this means time away from the family when you’re needed to give information for the case, be deposed, and even attend important meetings with your attorney. The time investment adds up especially since there are certain deadlines and work that must be completed by the client and by specific deadlines. The time away from family is just one of the facets of time to consider. The time that a client must put in to successfully litigate a case should not be underestimated. The specific deadlines matter for both your case and your attorney – the 9:00 P.M. phone calls that must be answered are nothing to overlook as well as early times for depositions where you must take off work.
Missing work can have negative consequences for current employment, which brings us into financial ability. As I’m sure the media portrays, litigation is costly. Not only the startup costs, but the costs that manifest in other ways like the income that is missed by missing work. The financial portion is a huge part of litigation and as much as we would want litigation to be free, the costs can be higher than is realized upfront. This brings us to the last factor that can be considered: emotional wellbeing.
The emotional toll that litigation takes is vast. Not only do you have to repeat your story and possible trauma over and over again, but in depositions you may have to experience distress and discomfort defending it. The strength that is required to push through is taxing mentally and emotionally both to you, but also to the people around you.
But all these factors are not to suggest litigation is not all uphill battles and hard work. Trials and having a case heard by the justice system is rewarding. Your case and voice being heard in an impactful way that will become a public record is a powerful acknowledgement of the harms that caused you to seek an attorney in the first place. The validation, even if the trial is lost, can make all the things above seem like a small price to pay. The passion is what can make litigation worth it, and we want to support that passion. However, as Dallas Employment Lawyers, we also want you to make the best decision for you because in the end that’s what really matters.