Litigation

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Divorce Litigation in Maryland

Litigation is the process of taking your case to court. People come into our offices, pound their fists on the table, and pronounce, “I want to go to court!” Going to court is a process, not an event. That process can take months to get through from beginning to end, and involves risk to each party as to whether the judge will agree with his/her respective perspective of the case. If the judge does not agree with your interpretation of the situation, you may lose custody of your child, may lose the right to occupy your home, and you may have to pay the other party money.  Litigation is expensive – in time, in dollars, and in emotion. But there are only two ways to resolve your case: either you settle it before the divorce, or you go through a trial, at the end of which the judge will tell you what to do with the most important things in your life: your children, your house, and your money. It’s obviously a dicey proposition, full of risk and tension, but our fastidious preparation and case management, as well as our understanding of the divorce law and procedure, arm us to maximize your case result through a trial.

The process of divorce is, until trial day, an exercise of the court’s administration of your path to trial so that the trial can proceed smoothly. The path to a divorce trial is paved with rules and deadlines that must be observed. The court system is based upon fair and equitable requirements; what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and the rules apply uniformly to both. Every action has (at least the opportunity for) an equal and opposite reaction, which is to say, when one party takes an action, the other party will be given the opportunity to respond to that action before any decision is made by the court. There are very few instances in which the court acts on a unilateral, unanswered request by a party. By the time you get to the divorce trial, both sides have had to disclose to the other each witness and what they will testify to, and to have shared every exhibit that will be given to the court during the trial. Unlike the tv shows, there are very few Perry Mason moments.

Preparing for Your Divorce Trial

Preparing for a trial begins the minute you meet with us for the first time. We sort through the facts and information that you provide to us in our first meeting and determine whether you have grounds (i.e. legal eligibility) to get through the courthouse door. Once that determination is made, our family lawyers are required to follow a very prescribed set of steps of scheduling, information gathering, settlement attempts, and getting to trial. At the very beginning of a litigated case, everyone reports to a “scheduling conference” at the courthouse. This is proceeding in which the court schedules each prerequisite event to the trial itself.

Phase One of Your Divorce Litigation: Discovery

The first phase of every case is information gathering, called discovery. This is quite possibly the most important phase of litigation short of the trial itself. We are allowed to ask the other side for anything that may result in information that helps (or hurts) your case. We do that using written questions (interrogatories), oral questions (depositions), requests for documents (exactly what it sounds like), requests for admissions of fact, and subpoenas to third parties such as banks. The discovery phase of a case may result in tens of thousands of pages of numbers, facts, photographs, transcripts, texts, and other information. All of this information must be sorted, absorbed, prioritized and organized for use at trial. We determine who has first-hand knowledge of each information byte and talk to those people to determine whether they would be good witnesses to testify at trial. We engage experts to present and explain to the court the complex scientific, financial, tax or other more arcane information that is a part of your case.

Going to Divorce Trial

Only a fraction of the provided discovery information will ultimately be used in court. Being a trial attorney is a little like being a Broadway producer; we have to assure that all of the players are where they should be when we need them, we have to assure that they, and you, are well prepared and know what to expect and what the rules are, and that the show will go on. Prior to the trial, we will prepare a trial notebook, with detailed outlines of each witness’s anticipated testimony and copies of each exhibit in the order in which we intend to introduce them. We will meet with you to assure you understand the outline prepared for your own testimony, and that you are familiar and comfortable with the intent and purpose of our trial presentation. We pride ourselves on meticulous preparation and will assure that you understand the required testimony and information that must be introduced to the court during the case, and that your witnesses are appropriately advised as well.

You wind up in court when you reach divorce day without any agreement as to at least some of the issues that are present in your case. It is possible to settle some issues and leave the remaining disputed ones for resolution by the court. In any event, be assured that we will be ready for trial, regardless of the scope of the unresolved matters to be decided by the judge. It’s what we do, and we do it well.

Our Divorce Lawyers are Seasoned Litigators

If you think your divorce is likely going to end up in court, you need to have a divorce lawyer who can protect your rights and minimize your risks. Speak to us by calling 410-280-1700 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation with one of our seasoned litigators at our Annapolis office.

Divorce Litigation in Maryland

Litigation is the process of taking your case to court. People come into our offices, pound their fists on the table, and pronounce, “I want to go to court!” Going to court is a process, not an event. That process can take months to get through from beginning to end, and involves risk to each party as to whether the judge will agree with his/her respective perspective of the case. If the judge does not agree with your interpretation of the situation, you may lose custody of your child, may lose the right to occupy your home, and you may have to pay the other party money.  Litigation is expensive – in time, in dollars, and in emotion. But there are only two ways to resolve your case: either you settle it before the divorce, or you go through a trial, at the end of which the judge will tell you what to do with the most important things in your life: your children, your house, and your money. It’s obviously a dicey proposition, full of risk and tension, but our fastidious preparation and case management, as well as our understanding of the divorce law and procedure, arm us to maximize your case result through a trial.

The process of divorce is, until trial day, an exercise of the court’s administration of your path to trial so that the trial can proceed smoothly. The path to a divorce trial is paved with rules and deadlines that must be observed. The court system is based upon fair and equitable requirements; what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, and the rules apply uniformly to both. Every action has (at least the opportunity for) an equal and opposite reaction, which is to say, when one party takes an action, the other party will be given the opportunity to respond to that action before any decision is made by the court. There are very few instances in which the court acts on a unilateral, unanswered request by a party. By the time you get to the divorce trial, both sides have had to disclose to the other each witness and what they will testify to, and to have shared every exhibit that will be given to the court during the trial. Unlike the tv shows, there are very few Perry Mason moments.

Preparing for Your Divorce Trial

Preparing for a trial begins the minute you meet with us for the first time. We sort through the facts and information that you provide to us in our first meeting and determine whether you have grounds (i.e. legal eligibility) to get through the courthouse door. Once that determination is made, our family lawyers are required to follow a very prescribed set of steps of scheduling, information gathering, settlement attempts, and getting to trial. At the very beginning of a litigated case, everyone reports to a “scheduling conference” at the courthouse. This is proceeding in which the court schedules each prerequisite event to the trial itself.

Phase One of Your Divorce Litigation: Discovery

The first phase of every case is information gathering, called discovery. This is quite possibly the most important phase of litigation short of the trial itself. We are allowed to ask the other side for anything that may result in information that helps (or hurts) your case. We do that using written questions (interrogatories), oral questions (depositions), requests for documents (exactly what it sounds like), requests for admissions of fact, and subpoenas to third parties such as banks. The discovery phase of a case may result in tens of thousands of pages of numbers, facts, photographs, transcripts, texts, and other information. All of this information must be sorted, absorbed, prioritized and organized for use at trial. We determine who has first-hand knowledge of each information byte and talk to those people to determine whether they would be good witnesses to testify at trial. We engage experts to present and explain to the court the complex scientific, financial, tax or other more arcane information that is a part of your case.

Going to Divorce Trial

Only a fraction of the provided discovery information will ultimately be used in court. Being a trial attorney is a little like being a Broadway producer; we have to assure that all of the players are where they should be when we need them, we have to assure that they, and you, are well prepared and know what to expect and what the rules are, and that the show will go on. Prior to the trial, we will prepare a trial notebook, with detailed outlines of each witness’s anticipated testimony and copies of each exhibit in the order in which we intend to introduce them. We will meet with you to assure you understand the outline prepared for your own testimony, and that you are familiar and comfortable with the intent and purpose of our trial presentation. We pride ourselves on meticulous preparation and will assure that you understand the required testimony and information that must be introduced to the court during the case, and that your witnesses are appropriately advised as well.

You wind up in court when you reach divorce day without any agreement as to at least some of the issues that are present in your case. It is possible to settle some issues and leave the remaining disputed ones for resolution by the court. In any event, be assured that we will be ready for trial, regardless of the scope of the unresolved matters to be decided by the judge. It’s what we do, and we do it well.

Our Divorce Lawyers are Seasoned Litigators

If you think your divorce is likely going to end up in court, you need to have a divorce lawyer who can protect your rights and minimize your risks. Speak to us by calling 410-280-1700 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation with one of our seasoned litigators at our Annapolis office.

How Can We Help You?