Frequently Asked Questions About Litigation

Signing Legal Contract

Sometimes people just know that they should pursue a lawsuit, but they are anxious about meeting with a lawyer, how much litigation will cost, and whether they will get the result they want. Let’s make a hypothetical example of Ron and Suzanne, an Arizona couple in their 60’s who have had a very lucrative gift shop for twenty years in Grand Canyon Village. They sell gift cards, small souvenirs and trinkets that evoke the beauty of the Grand Canyon. 

Although they have three years remaining on their five year lease, their landlord James has given them a notice of termination. He has not invoked any contractual basis on which to do so, and has not alleged that they are in violation or default of the lease. It appears James wants to rent the profitable store location to his son. Ron and Suzanne are unwilling to just give up the lease. It appears that there is no basis for negotiation between the parties. 

Ron and Suzanne have decided to consult a lawyer about their rights, but they don’t know quite how to begin. 

How Do I Find The Right Lawyer for My Case?

This one is easy! Call Timothy Coons’ legal team. We are anxious to help you with your case.  We do understand that most people don’t have a “regular” lawyer like they have a doctor. The first qualification is that you feel comfortable with your attorney.

We will sit down with you for an initial strategy session to make sure we understand your case and to give you the opportunity to ask us questions. If for some reason you choose not to hire us, another great option for finding a lawyer is to ask family and friends and other attorneys who they might recommend. 

What Are the Practical Considerations In Finding A Lawyer?

In addition to making sure you feel comfortable with the attorney, it’s important to find an attorney who practices in the area of law you need help with. In this case, Ron and Suzanne should identify a business lawyer who has experience in real estate and contract law. 

If you’re pursuing litigation, your lawyer should also have courtroom experience and the ability to help you with litigation strategy. 

How Much Will It Cost to File, Bring and Win a Lawsuit?

That totally depends on the matter and its complexity. When you interview potential lawyers for your matter, make sure you understand how you will be billed. In some cases, lawyers bill by the hour. In the case of Ron and Suzanne, it’s likely that the lawyer will charge an hourly fee.

But if you have a product liability lawsuit against a manufacturer for damages from a defective product, it’s likely the law firm will take your case on a contingency basis. This means you won’t be charged for representation, but the firm will take a percentage of the judgment if you prevail in your lawsuit. This is also normally the case in a medical malpractice lawsuit. 

It’s in your best interest to have the lawyer provide you with a retainer agreement so you can understand how often and how much you will be billed. 

How Long Will It Take For The Lawyer to Prepare My Case?

The answer depends on the complexity of the matter. In Ron and Suzanne’s case, it appears to be simply a breach of a lease. The attorney will review the lease to determine whether the landlord had the authority to undertake his actions, and interview Ron and Suzanne to ensure he has all the facts. The lawyer will then prepare the necessary documents for filing with the court.

Other types of cases may involve a long discovery process, where the parties formally exchange information about the witnesses and evidence they will present at trial.

In Arizona, a civil lawsuit typically proceeds as follows:

– The plaintiff files a document (a complaint or a petition) with the clerk of the court stating the reasons why the plaintiff is suing the defendant, and what action the plaintiff wants the court to take.

– The plaintiff must state whether the case is eligible for arbitration according to court rule.

– A copy of the complaint and a summons are delivered to the defendant.

 – The defendant has a limited time, usually 20 days, to file a written answer admitting or denying the statements in the complaint.

– The plaintiff and the defendant exchange information about the case. This is called discovery.

– The case is tried before a jury or a judge. Each side has the opportunity for opening and closing statements, direct examination and cross-examination of witnesses, and introduction of other evidence.

– The judge makes a decision or the jury gives its verdict, based on the testimony and other evidence presented during trial.

– The losing party may appeal the decision to the next higher level of the court.

How Long Before My Case Goes to Trial?

Depending on the court, whether state or Federal, and how crowded the docket is, it could be a matter of months or a matter of years. 

Will There Be a Jury?

In Arizona in a civil case, if the parties agree, they can ask for a bench trial, which means there is no jury and the judge will decide the case. Your lawyer should be able to help you strategize about whether your case will fare better with a judge only or a jury.

Contact Counxel Legal Firm

Deciding to go forward with a lawsuit can create anxiety about whether it’s the right thing to do and what it will cost. But if you prepare yourself and understand the process, it doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Contact us at (480) 744-6621 or at request@counxel.com. Don’t forget to check out the good things that others are saying about the services they received from Timothy Coons on Google.

This article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice for your specific situation. Use of and access to this article does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Counxel Legal Firm. Please contact request@counxel.com or (480) 744-6621 to request specific information for your situation.

*Conveniently located off the 101 Freeway and the US 60 in the middle of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, and Queen Creek!

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