Litigation can be a lengthy and expensive process for all of the parties involved. In 2019, the median time from filing to disposition for civil cases in Florida was 269 days with many cases taking much longer than that. It is often in everyone’s best interest to shorten the litigation process, and by doing so, lower the legal costs and reduce the time lost to both parties of the dispute.
There are a number of different ways that individuals and legal professionals can work together to make the litigation process more efficient. Each of these methods includes taking a proactive approach best managed by an experienced litigation attorney.
Strategies to Shorten Litigation
- Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)
Consider using an ADR method such as mediation or arbitration instead of going to court. These methods can often resolve disputes more quickly and cost-effectively than litigation.
- Early case evaluation
Conduct an early evaluation of the case to determine its strengths and weaknesses and the potential for settlement. This can help avoid the need for prolonged discovery and litigation.
- Settlement negotiations
Consider early and ongoing settlement negotiations. Engage in good faith negotiations with the opposing party to see if a settlement can be reached before trial.
- Motion practice
In the legal profession, “motion practice” refers to the process of making requests to the court for a ruling or order on a particular issue in a case. These requests, called motions, can be made by either party at any stage of a legal proceeding, from pre-trial to post-trial.
Motions can address a wide range of issues, such as:
- Dismissal of the case or certain claims
- Summary judgment, which asks the court to rule in favor of one party based on the evidence before trial
- Discovery disputes, such as requests for protective orders or to compel the production of documents or testimony
- Admissibility of evidence, including objections to evidence or testimony that the opposing party plans to present at trial
- Sanctions for failure to comply with court orders or rules
The purpose of motion practice is to narrow the issues and focus the case for trial, to expedite the resolution of the case, and to provide a mechanism for parties to resolve disputes without a trial. If a motion is granted, it can significantly impact the outcome of the case. Therefore, motions are an important part of litigation, and it is important to have a skilled attorney who can make compelling arguments and effectively advocate for their client’s position.
Using motion practice seeks an early resolution of legal issues that may result in a favorable ruling and avoid prolonged litigation proceedings.
“Engage in good faith negotiations with the opposing party to see if a settlement can be reached before trial.”
- Discovery planning
Develop a discovery plan that focuses on obtaining only the information necessary to support the case. Avoid overly burdensome discovery requests that can delay the litigation process.
- Technology-assisted review
Use technology-assisted review (TAR) to help manage and streamline document discovery. TAR uses technology to identify relevant documents quickly and efficiently, reducing the need for manual review.
- Use of experts
Hire experts to help identify key issues in the case and provide testimony that can help win the case. Their knowledge and expertise can help shorten the litigation process.
- Effective case management
Use effective case management strategies to keep the litigation process moving forward. This includes setting realistic deadlines, prioritizing tasks, and regularly communicating with the client.
Avoid Self Representation
It’s important to note that each case is unique, and some litigation shortening strategies may not be appropriate or effective in every situation. An experienced litigation attorney can help develop a strategy that is tailored to a specific case Client’s who attempt self-representation may incur more costs and end up taking up more time on their case than they would have had they retained legal counsel early on.
South Florida Law
If you are involved in a civil dispute, it is vital that you work with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the processes in the most efficient manner possible. At South Florida Law, we have years of experience handling complex cases involving litigation and dispute resolution, and we have the resources to help you navigate the legal system and achieve the results you need.
We counsel on all commercial dispute resolution mechanisms including mediation, arbitration and litigation.
We also understand that staying within our client’s financial budget is important and work closely with our clients to keep our legal services cost-effective with a view to achieving outstanding results. Contact us today to get started by reaching out to us on our contact form or by calling (954) 900-8885.