Herrman and Stratso answer whether or not they can still help you even if you do not wish to go to court. If you liked this video, please like and subscribe to our channel.
Gregory Herrman: Well hello everybody, welcome again to frequently asked questions Friday. I've got a returning visitor Steven Stratso, one of our attorneys here. Today our topic is, I don't want to go to court can you still help me? So Steven can you answer that question.
Steven Stratso: Well the simple answer to this one is yes, we can still help you. You know most of these cases that we do get don't ever end up in court, you know, upwards 95 percent are gonna get settled out. The system set up to where it encourages settlement, you know, they give you every chance in the book to get it done before actually you know going to a trial where you've got to pick the jury and do all that. There's also, you know, reasons why you know you wouldn't want to go including the fee, obviously jumps up if you file a suit on it, trust me, we want to get it done pre-suit just as much as anyone it's a lot faster and you know it doesn't require all of the headaches of going through litigation, but again, even if you file a suit and do the litigation process and begin that you're still the chances of it going to court are still very very slim, you may have to do depositions, be part of discovery, things of that nature, but the chance of you actually going to court is so still very very slim.
Gregory: So what percent of cases actually go to trial?
Steven: Well it's less than 5%, you know, it's much higher in the criminal side of things but for civil, I mean like I said, you know there's all sorts of ways to get it done before actually going to trial, there's pretrial, mediation, there's arbitration. there's a lot of ways that it can get done, even you know, going to the ups of the steps of the courthouse, you know that does happen for you're not actually in there picking the jury and having to go up on the witness stand, which I know a lot of folks that's intimidating, you know getting up there in front of everyone and talking, I think that's a reason why a lot of people don't want to go to actual court. And we don't actually file a suit of any kind behalf.
Gregory: Unless we have their permission.
Steven: Absolutely, absolutely. You know we would advise them, hey you know is this something that you want to file a suit on or hey you know you might want to think about taking it but at the end of the day it's going to be up to the client as I tell everyone as soon as they sign up with us, you know we're never gonna settle on your behalf, you know, you guys are still in full control when you sign that contract.
Gregory: In fact even if the client wants to go to trial, we have an interview process where we have to interview them and make sure they're capable going to trial and we may not want to go to trial with that particular client.
Steven: Absolutely, you know cost a lot of money to do a trial, we work on a contingency fee of course so it's got to be a case that we would think the outcomes gonna be good for both of us.
Gregory: I can think of some examples where you know we've told clients, you know hey stay off social media because you're claiming you were injured and you can't do all these things and they're there on social media posting you know them out skiing or them out you know doing whatever, which according to their injuries, they can't really do and and we know the defense is going to get a hold of those things and crucify them on cross-examination and even though we've told them to stay off social media they went on there anyway and they posted the whole life story, and so we know that's gonna happen, we know we're gonna get slaughtered and the clients going yeah I want my day in court. That's the case where we go, no you don't pass out our smell test and you don't pass our interview process so even though you want to go to court, you're going to go find another lawyer, because we're not gonna go over there and just get our head smashed in and lose a bunch of money for no reason.
Steven: Absolutely yeah also you know if you've got stuff in your background, criminal history, some stuff, a bunch of reasons why the client probably wouldn't want to go to court because you know their criminal backgrounds gonna get brought up and kind of kill the case that way as well, so there's a lot of reasons why you wouldn't want to go as well.
Gregory: Okay so just hiring a lawyer doesn't mean you're gonna kind of file a suit then.
Steven: Correct and again, we want to get it done pre-suit, it's a lot faster, it's a lot less work-intensive and you know, we can get it done for the client at a cheaper cost as well.
Gregory: And therefore, hiring a lawyer doesn't mean you're gonna go to trial. Okay and then, a lot of these cases settled as you said on the courthouse steps, we've even settled cases during trial before right? And settled cases right before we pick the jury and settle cases right after we pick the jury?
Steven: Yeah you know, one reason why attorneys and clients don't want to go is because it's super risky getting in there, you know, your fate is just in the hands of the kind of the jury, that that you select, you know so it could go one of either ways and it's sometimes it's just a toss-up of what type of people you have in that jury room, so that's a lot of risks involved.
Gregory: I know I picked the jury when coming to Fort Worth and the panel was so bad, the people that did have to get on the jury were literally insurance company adjusters, insurance company executives, fortune 500 executives, you know all older white guys, you know a white collar that are very conservative and that was my jury.
Steven: And that's a pretty good point, you know it depends what venue you're in, and I know you might not want to file suit in Tarrant County as opposed to Nueces, it has a lot to do with it with the jury pool.
Gregory: Alright, what a friendly suit is and I know that involves going to court but it's not really going to court in the traditional sense.
Steven: When a settlement is awarded to a minor and exceeds a certain amount of money to where the judge has to approve it and so the guardian would actually have to go to the courthouse, it's a super informal type hearing, I mean everyone approaches the judge, you know you do have to raise your right hand, but it's a super quick hearing so to speak typically they last about five minutes and that's the only time I can think of where you would actually be forced to go it'd be on your child's behalf. The child doesn't have to be there, but the guardian does have to go for the judge.