James REICHARDT

Practicing in Villa Park, Illinois since 1977

 

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Statistics show that over 95 percent of all civil cases are resolved by settlement rather than trial by jury or court. This is good.

Trials are extremely time-consuming and expensive. It is not at all unusual for the attorney's fees to exceed the amount of money claimed in a civil case. Therefore, it becomes practical to compromise and settle a case, even when one side is certain of the rightness of its cause.

I see it as my duty to my clients to obtain for them the most financially beneficial outcome of their case. This usually means that settlement is the best outcome, because it eliminates the chance involved when we go to trial.

It is no exaggeration to say that anything can happen at a trial: Witnesses will give surprising testimony and judges may make surprising rulings. A settlement takes the element of surprise out of the transaction and there is certainty and finality.

Sometimes it is just impossible to settle a case. Human beings are necessarily involved in decision-making and human beings are among the most unpredictable animals in God's creation. The roles of plaintiff, defendant, lawyers for each, judge, and members of a jury are filled by human beings and therefore the process of resolving issues under dispute becomes complicated and unpredictable.

To carry out my duty to my clients to maximize their money, I want to minimize the amount of attorney time involved and hopefully reach a compromised settlement of any issue. In order to be able to negotiate from a position of strength, we need to be prepared to go to trial in the event we do not reach agreement. That sometimes means that time and money will be spent on trial-preparation, only to have the case settle at the courthouse steps.

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2018, James Reichardt, Attorney at Law. All rights reserved.