Whether you’re considering a divorce, pursuing civil litigation, or in need of any of our other areas of legal expertise, our legal team typically likes to begin with an initial case evaluation. What’s a case evaluation? In essence, this our first sit-down with you, when we go over the details of your case, your desired outcomes, and what we believe we can do for you. So, if you’re wondering what happens during a typical case evaluation, here’s a quick look at what we might cover in that first meeting.
Establishing the Basics
First, we’ll discuss just what your particular case is all about. What type of case are we looking at? What are you hoping to get out of it? Who is this case against? Establishing these basics will help us to get a feel for your case, and begin to determine what other info we might need to make a decision regarding how to proceed.
Supporting Documents and Facts
Once we know what the broad strokes of your case look like, we’ll want to get into a bit more of the nitty-gritty details. Of course, we don’t expect you to have every supporting document or all of the facts outlined for us upfront. However, the more information you can give us in the beginning, the more accurate we can be in our evaluation of your case.
So, bring as much information as you reasonably can. It’s a good idea to look for documents that support your case, as well as documents and information that may support your opponent’s case. Please, don’t try to hide information that opposes your position from your attorney; it is always best to disclose all information, so that your lawyer is prepared and equipped to handle that information, rather than being blindsided in court.
Timeline and Cost Estimates
After reviewing all of the information you have available for your case, we can create a rough timeline and cost estimate for your case. The amount of time it will take to see your case through to completion is usually closely related to the cost of pursuing the case. However, these will obviously vary widely depending on the type of case and the associated details; while some cases can be over in a matter of weeks, others may take years to conclude.
Depending on your case, we can typically offer a few different pay structures. Certain cases may require by-the-hour billing, while others may be on a contingency fee basis. Some cases may also require a retainer, while others will not. We’ll go over the payment options with you during your evaluation.
We will also go over what we believe the potential and likely outcomes of your case will be. Based on the information provided to us, we can discuss the relative strength of your case, and the likelihood of achieving the outcome you desire. We’ll also discuss alternative outcomes, such as the potential for early settlement, and any other settlement options you might be amenable to.
This is also a great opportunity to discuss whether the cost of pursuing your case will be worth the likely outcome. In certain situations, the time and legal expenses may exceed any type of payout you can expect to see, and you may decide not to pursue the matter any further. However, if we believe you have a strong case that is likely to succeed, or if the cost to you is relatively low to pursue the case, you may decide to proceed with legal action.
If, at the end of your initial case evaluation, you decide that you would like to proceed with the case, we’ll go over what our next steps will be. Some of these steps may be things that our legal team handles on its own, while others may require some form of action from you. If you’re the one initiating the case, our first steps will usually include serving the opposing party with paperwork. If you’re the one who’s been served, we will typically set to work on filing a response, if the case calls for it, or begin immediate action on building your case.
Please bear in mind that these are simply the general, most common things we will discuss in a case evaluation. Because each case we handle can vary widely, the exact things we discuss in your case evaluation may differ from those outlined here. Please reach out to us to schedule your initial case evaluation today.