Understanding Law Today: Why Do Most Cases Settle?
As a trial attorney, you are expected to have many skills geared toward winning in the courtroom, as well as experience and hopefully, a stellar track record. This means taking on cases that will go to court and winning them—and often suffering through trials that no one else wanted to take on. As a trial attorney, you must be skilled at understanding your client thoroughly, as well as the opponent, with a clear strategy for defeating them in court. Research skills, writing skills, interpersonal skills, negotiating skills, and the ability to command the courtroom are all essential for your career as a trial attorney.
You are probably aware, however, that most cases will never make it to the courtroom but will settle instead as those at fault may be eager to settle as quickly as possible, and the plaintiff may be eager to take the money and be done with the whole process. A car accident is a classic example. Your client may come to you after an accident where they were severely injured due to the negligence of another driver, whether behind the wheel of a car, truck, car, or operating a motorcycle. There could have been many factors at play, but your client may have suffered debilitating harm, and could be unable to work, thus losing income either temporarily or even permanently.
At first, they may be convinced that they want you to take the case to trial and you may be fired up and ready to take it all the way; however, once the insurance adjusters get involved and begin investigating the case from their end, they will do what they do best: work hard to schmooze you and your client into taking a quick settlement so that they do as little as possible, in as little time as possible, and of course, pay out as little as possible too. Over time, your client’s ire may begin to dissipate, and they will become more motivated—on their own—just to take a quick settlement and be on their way. As the attorney, you might be frustrated, knowing that you could have gotten so much more in damages for your client in court—but it is up to you to relay any settlement offers and leave the choice up to the client. In the end, they may want to cut their losses rather than taking a chance with a judge and jury.
Our mission at CDTA College of Law is to educate, train, and develop extraordinary legal advocates. Your legal education will be comprised of bar-tested academic subjects, skills training, and values reinforcement. Upon completion of your four-year course of study you will be fully qualified to take and pass the California Bar examination. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.