Litigation, Settlement and Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on almost aspect of our lives. Many businesses and even the California court system are facing significant backlogs. In fact, even though the courts have reopened, most are operating at a reduced capacity which slows any progress. If you have a pending lawsuit, you are likely very aware of the impact the Coronavirus has had on your case.

With the courts moving slow, parties have more incentive than ever to consider their settlement options. How do you know if settling your case is better than proceeding to trial? The answer depends upon a wide variety of factors such as your chance of winning at trial, how far apart the parties are in settlement negotiations, how long the trial will last, and the amount of money that is at stake in the case. It is important to understand that because criminal defendants are given the right to a speedy trial, the criminal cases have priority right now. Thus, the civil litigants are facing very lengthy wait times for their day in court. This delay may be a significant factor in deciding whether settlement outside of court is the most beneficial option.

If you decide that settlement is not an option in your case, many of the hearings and other court matters are being held be video conferences. While video conferences are an effective way to handle most administrative meetings and hearings, they can present challenges when it comes to evidentiary hearings. In an evidentiary hearing, the court is determining the credibility of witnesses, which can be difficult in a video. This is particularly true if the evidence is being presented to a jury, who is not as comfortable as a judge in evaluating the credibility of the evidence being presented. As a result, your attorney will need to work with the witness on how to tell their story of the case via video in a way that will hold the judge and/or jury’s interest.

If you or your business is facing legal challenges and you are considering filing a lawsuit, it is necessary to consider the impact the Covid-19 pandemic will have on your case. The attorneys at Mailly Law can help you determine whether settlement or litigation is in your best interest. Contact our office today to schedule your initial consultation.