Law Talk with the Flock

What To Do When Your Case Goes To Trial?

March 25, 2020 Jeana Goosmann, Anna Limoges Season 1 Episode 7
Law Talk with the Flock
What To Do When Your Case Goes To Trial?
Chapters
Law Talk with the Flock
What To Do When Your Case Goes To Trial?
Mar 25, 2020 Season 1 Episode 7
Jeana Goosmann, Anna Limoges

Goosmann Law Firm Sioux Falls Trial Attorney Anna Limoges and Host Jeana Goosmann talk about what to do when your case goes to trial. During this episode you will learn: 

  1. How an attorney can help.
  2. How is the case resolved?
  3. How do you prepare?
  4. Who are the witnesses?
  5. How long will it take?

Learn more about Goosmann’s litigation practice HERE.

Become a flock fan and subscribe to our Podcast for weekly episodes! Learn more at www.goosmannlaw.com.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this podcast episode “episode” is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. By listening to our episode, you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Goosmann Law Firm “GLF” attorneys and podcast publisher. No information contained in this episode should be construed as legal advice from GLF or the individual author, hosts, or guests, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. Please read our full Podcast Disclaimer.

Show Notes Transcript

Goosmann Law Firm Sioux Falls Trial Attorney Anna Limoges and Host Jeana Goosmann talk about what to do when your case goes to trial. During this episode you will learn: 

  1. How an attorney can help.
  2. How is the case resolved?
  3. How do you prepare?
  4. Who are the witnesses?
  5. How long will it take?

Learn more about Goosmann’s litigation practice HERE.

Become a flock fan and subscribe to our Podcast for weekly episodes! Learn more at www.goosmannlaw.com.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this podcast episode “episode” is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. By listening to our episode, you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Goosmann Law Firm “GLF” attorneys and podcast publisher. No information contained in this episode should be construed as legal advice from GLF or the individual author, hosts, or guests, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. Please read our full Podcast Disclaimer.

Speaker 1:

Do complex legal issues hold you back? Let's get energized and bring clarity to your top legal questions. This is Law Talk with the Flock by Goosmann Law Firm.

Jeana Goosmann:

Hello, I'm your host, Jeana Goosmann, CEO and managing partner of the Goosmann Law Firm, author and business leader here to help navigate you and your way through the law, your business, and your life as a leader. Thank you for joining me. And today I have with me Anna Limoges.

Anna Limoges:

Hello.

Jeana Goosmann:

Anna is a trial attorney or a litigation attorney at the Goosmann Law Firm and we're going to talk about what happens if you get sued or if you want to sue someone.

Anna Limoges:

Hopefully that never has to happen, but we're here if that does.

Jeana Goosmann:

Exactly, exactly. And I think I want to get this out of the way right away. For people that are not lawyers that are listening, what does litigation mean?

Anna Limoges:

Litigation is more than just all the court stuff. Litigation is basically handling problems for people. A lot of times there's contract disputes and everything. And so what we do is we step in, we try to resolve that problem both from the very beginning all the way to the very end and possibly even after trial.

Jeana Goosmann:

But isn't the litigation to just kind of a fancy word for trial work?

Anna Limoges:

Yes.

Jeana Goosmann:

And I always thought that was weird when people call themselves a litigator . And I'm like, what did that mean? Before I went to law school. In the law we have all these big fancy words, but essentially that's the process of taking a case, suing somebody or being sued and how you go through that whole process.

Anna Limoges:

Exactly.

Jeana Goosmann:

All right, so let's talk about how do you get an attorney?

Anna Limoges:

A lot of people and what they should do is do some research. A lot of people get online, they do, you know, Google up some stuff or whatever. Also you can ask around , we represent a lot of businesses so we can have a business call, another business to see if they know of an attorney that had helped them with a certain situation. So word of mouth by asking your friends and business owners , that you know of that helps out a lot too.

Jeana Goosmann:

And there are a lot of different kinds of lawyers too , aren't there ? Not every lawyer goes to court like you do they?

Anna Limoges:

Absolutely not. There's estate planning attorneys, there's transactional attorneys that do a lot, all they do is come up with contracts and handle those kinds of situations. There's a lot of different kinds of lawyers.

Jeana Goosmann:

So you might need different kind of lawyer or different type of law firm depending on what you have that you're dealing with.

Anna Limoges:

Absolutely.

Jeana Goosmann:

And at the Goosmann Law Firm, we say we're a full service for businesses and business leaders. We help people win disputes. And that's what we're talking about today.

Anna Limoges:

Yes.

Jeana Goosmann:

How can different disputes get resolved? Let's touch base on that. Cause there's lots of different methods and you kind of already alluded to that, but let's dig into some of them.

Anna Limoges:

So it kind of depends on what the problem is. Usually a dispute can start out , for example, if somebody owes the business money. We can start out by writing a demand letter to the company or person that owes the business money and sometimes we do that twice. There's also a form of a demand letter where we attach an actual drafted complaint that we don't yet file with the court, but we're letting the other person know that we're pretty serious about collecting this debt on behalf of our clients. So that's one method. Another method is just to work with the other side's attorney if they do have one and try to come to a resolution that' benefits both parties.

Jeana Goosmann:

Obviously you can file a lawsuit in court and that's go through the court process, litigate the case, go to trial. And then there's alternative forms of dispute as well,ADR, and we've talked about those in another podcast, but mediations and arbitrations too, right?

Anna Limoges:

Absolutely. So those are just basically different forms of going to court in a way. If we want to simplify it, but they're handled outside of court and you have somebody like an arbitrator who is basically like a judge. You have somebody who's a mediator who goes, between the two parties to try to come to that compromise to try to end the dispute. So yes, those are other forms.

Jeana Goosmann:

I actually just got to become a arbitrator myself with the AAA last year I've always been the lawyer and I, I'm kind of excited to now get to sit in the judge's chair so to speak and arbitrate the case. So it's a unique vantage point to sit from.

Anna Limoges:

Yes.

Jeana Goosmann:

Let's talk a little bit about how you prepare for court or how you prepare to handle a dispute. What are some of the steps that you go through, Anna ?

Anna Limoges:

So a lot of times what we do is we ask the client for every bit of information that they have-

Jeana Goosmann:

And do they want to actually give us all that information?

Anna Limoges:

Sometimes not. So sometimes they don't know exactly what to give. So we have to be able to ask them correct questions and ask for the correct information. And sometimes they give us one or two little bits and then we need to ask for more.

Jeana Goosmann:

Anything that they give their attorney at that point in time is confidential or privileged. Right?

Anna Limoges:

So there's a protection that attorney and client attorney and clients have called the attorney/client privilege. So any communications are protected, any documents given to them, emails, anything that has to do with the work that the attorney is doing on behalf of the client is protected from being exposed.

Jeana Goosmann:

And let's compare that to what is actual evidence in a case. So when we go through what we call the discovery process, where both sides exchange evidence if there's documents or emails that have do with the dispute, that stuff isn't protected, right?

Anna Limoges:

No, it depends. It depends if it's just the between the client and the attorney or if there's other people on that email. So if there's somebody outside of that relationship, whether where that information has been shared, there is no protection there and it has to be shared with the other side if its relevant to the lawsuit.

Jeana Goosmann:

Got it. So there's a big process that you go through in a case, the discovery process where there's documents exchanged and depositions. Let's stop for a quick second. Tell everybody what is a deposition.

Anna Limoges:

So deposition is you're under oath, there's a court reporter, possibly a videographer there and the other side and possibly your own attorney is going to ask you questions that are relevant to the case and maybe even walk you through the timeline and go through documents and everything is transcribed. So it's a little bit nerve wracking. It's not quite like being in court, but it's not just a normal conversation with anybody. There's evidence that is trying to be collected during that deposition.

Jeana Goosmann:

We do a lot of depositions right here at this table too, don't we?

Anna Limoges:

Absolutely.

Jeana Goosmann:

So how do people end up becoming a witness in a case?

Anna Limoges:

If you have personal knowledge of what happened in the case, you may be called as a witness and it may be a lot of knowledge that you have or it may just be something that you witnessed one comment or you witnessed one document or you have knowledge of a certain process. So anybody that would be able to provide some relevant information to the case is a potential witness.

Jeana Goosmann:

People often don't want to be a witness do they?

Anna Limoges:

No, cause it can be a little nerve wracking .

Jeana Goosmann:

In different cases have different number of witnesses. I've always kind of found that the bigger the case or the higher the dollar amount involved, the more witnesses there tend to be.

Anna Limoges:

That's absolutely true. And if there is more dollar amount involved you're talking about you have more pressure to prove that case, and the other side is going to try to disprove your case, you know, if you're the plaintiff. I mean it kinda depends on how complex the cases too .

Jeana Goosmann:

About a decade ago I had a case where there were over 300 plaintiffs. It was not a class action cause they all had different claims arising out of the same incident. So we had to take over 300 depositions of those different plaintiffs in that one case.

Anna Limoges:

I bet that took a little bit of time.

Jeana Goosmann:

It did. It was about six months worth of time to take all those depositions.

Anna Limoges:

Did you have to travel for those as well?

Jeana Goosmann:

I got very comfortable in one hotel. Yes, the front desk knew my name really well. So how long does this whole process take Anna ?

Anna Limoges:

You know, a lot of times there's a scheduling order put up by the court and so you have deadlines and you have to get it done before a certain time. Those deadlines if they have to be, can be extended but you have to ask permission a lot of times or get an agreement with the other party to do so. I mean we're talking it could go about six months, you know, usual discovery process. I don't know what it was like with 300 plaintiffs that may have involved a couple extensions. So I'm not quite sure.

Jeana Goosmann:

I think most cases tend to take about a year and a half on average. If it's a typical case and then those larger cases that we referenced, I've had one case that was a 12 year matter but when there's tens and tens of millions of dollars at stake, they tend to have 40 different lawyers working on them . And that extends things out quite a bit. But I suppose most cases are around about a year and a half on, on average or two years. By the time you get through the whole process, it's not like in the movies, right. Or in TV when it just happens tomorrow?

Anna Limoges:

Absolutely not.

Jeana Goosmann:

Although we'd be ready to go tomorrow. Right?

Anna Limoges:

We would be . We would be.

Jeana Goosmann:

Well, thank you Anna, for sharing your insight with everyone today. Appreciate having you on the podcast. Go make it worth it.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for joining us for Law Talk with the Flock by Goosmann Law Firm. We hope you feel energized and ready to soar past your goals. Become a flock fan and subscribe to our podcast for weekly episodes. Learn more at goosmannlaw .com