When you come to significant, high-stakes litigation on complex business issues, preparation alone can take years before the trial even gets underway. That can be intimidating, but it helps to understand exactly why.
Proper preparation is painstaking
In matters representing millions or billions of dollars, documentation means everything. The answers to questions are found among the available papers in the discovery portion of trial. Sometimes requests for evidence end up as “document dumps,” though.
Document dumps are massive disclosures of documents to answer a request for evidence. However, courts do not like document dumps of excessive or intentionally disruptive size in actual practice. In a famous case in New York, the court imposed fines on a party attempting such a deception. That was a state-level case, but it was cited in an article from the American Bar association discouraging the practice.
Even so, with just a request for relevant documents, an attorney may receive millions of pages to review.
Aside from acquiring evidence, there are often hearings to define the rules of the trial. Often these hearings will examine the relevance of a piece of evidence, the necessity of witness testimony or some other key aspect of the trial. These hearings can be frequent and will by necessity slow down the case’s progress. Oftentimes motions are simply requests for more time to prepare for the actual trial.
Worth the wait
There may be a temptation to settle as the wheels of the court slowly turn in preparation for your day in front of a judge. However, settling may not be enough to resolve all the relevant issues. With a focused, aggressive, patient litigation team behind you, your chances of getting to court and coming out a winner increase.