Five Tips for Winning a Court Case

Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors.

Success in a court case refers to the most favorable possible outcome. Whether you're a plaintiff or a defendant, you'll want to play the hand of cards you've been dealt to your best advantage. That's why it's crucial to keep your emotions in check and approach litigation decisions objectively, like a shrewd, savvy poker player.

In the words of the immortal old song, "You've got to know when to hold 'em / Know when to fold 'em / Know when to walk away / And know when to run."

With this in mind, here are some tips on how to win a court case.

1. Don't Litigate for Spite or Revenge

Definitely don't make your litigation decisions for vindictive reasons. You'll only end up hurting yourself. Besides generating excessive litigation expenses, your health and happiness will suffer. If you look honestly in the mirror and realize that your motivation is spite or revenge, it's in your own best interests to find a way to settle or otherwise end the case.

2. Seek Mediation Instead of Litigation

In almost all situations, a negotiated solution to a dispute is quicker, less expensive and more private than litigating in court. Often, judges require litigants to attempt to reach agreement using a trained facilitator called a mediator before they will be allowed to move forward to a courtroom trial. Take full advantage of the available opportunities for mediation. Cooperate fully with the mediator's requests, and see if it's possible to arrive at a negotiated deal that both you and the other side can live with.

3. Be the Master of Your Case

Lawyers often have confident, forceful personalities. Be sure that you are the one calling the shots in your legal case. Avoid sending mixed signals to your lawyer about matters such as what type of negotiated settlement would be acceptable to you. Speak up, and be sure that you are in control of your case.

4. Listen to Your Advisers

It's also important to remember that your attorney understands the litigation process in a way that you don't. While you're a foreigner in the legal realm, your lawyer lives there. So, it's worth paying careful heed to your lawyer's advice. If you don't understand something, ask probing questions. However, always keep in mind that your lawyer has extensive professional training and experience in these matters.

5. Be Flexible

Because the vast majority of cases will settle before trial, success often means obtaining a desirable settlement. In negotiating with the other side, try to be flexible in deciding what you can live with. Your concept of a fair deal will be vastly different from the opposing party's numerical figure. While you'll want to drive a hard bargain, both sides are probably going to compromise eventually. Usually, the earlier this happens the better.

How to Win a Court Case? You'll Need a Good Lawyer

Although it almost goes without saying, the most important ingredient in litigation success is a highly skilled lawyer who will persuasively argue your case. Choose one who has experience in the relevant legal area and with whom you feel a level of personal comfort or rapport. Contact a qualified litigation attorney near you today to learn more.

Next Steps

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