If you must go to court, it should be on purpose; not because there was settlement opportunity you ignored.

Litigation means court. It also means that the parties, perhaps despite their best efforts, have failed to find a middle ground.

I recognize that some cases simply have to be tried. There may be no middle ground. The best approach, however, is to first explore all other reasonable alternatives. The reason is simple: Before a case is filed in court, you retain control over the outcome. You can directly, or indirectly, through an attorney, seek any solution you believe might work.

But once a lawsuit is filed, the parties give up a significant portion of their own control, and the court system takes over. It can be a grindingly slow and frustrating process. Pleadings, such as complaints, answers, motions, etc. have to be timely filed, matters have to be scheduled for hearing through the already overcrowded court system, and few judges make a decision without issuing a written opinion – which can be weeks away. While court scheduling varies from county-to-county, in the tri-county area (Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas), it can take a year, depending upon the matter, its complexity, and the availability of witnesses, parties, counsel and judges.

If your matter will require going to court, I will likely associate with another attorney for some or part of the proceedings.

My practice does include consultation on matters in court or headed to court. I can refer counsel or associate with your own attorney. By the time your case gets to court, you’ll know that you’ve likely explored all other reasonable methods to resolve the dispute, and it’s now time to take the gloves off. Although I regard court as a “last resort” – I recognize that in some cases, it’s a necessary one.