The average consumer that has a real estate matter requiring litigation has two choices. Either go to a big firm that has all the experience and pay insanely expensive legal fees, or go to a small boutique firm that may not have the experience needed but is affordable. For most consumers, there is no choice. They are forced to work with an attorney who is not accessible or competent because that is all they can afford.
At the Guerra Days Law Group, we are looking to bridge that gap. We believe that your real estate litigation attorney should be competent and accessible no matter who their client is. It is astounding how many potential clients call our office and state how appreciative they are that we answered their phone call or returned their call in a timely manner. That is a testament of how unaccessible attorneys and their staff can be. We aim to change that stigma within the industry.
Competence can be a deciding factor in choosing your real estate litigation attorney. It takes a firm with a great understanding of the legal landscape to effectively represent clients through the monster we call real estate litigation. Real estate litigation has a mind of its own and unless it is tamed, it will have its way with you. Our competent litigators have an understanding of the ever evolving processes, procedures, and developing technologies of real estate litigation. The real estate litigation process can be so overwhelming, even many attorneys are intimidated to go through the process. If attorneys are intimidated, we can imagine the how the typical consumer feels.
Kimberlee Kovach, a professor of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and negotiations at South Texas College of Law, defines a litigator as “one who uses the real estate litigation or court system as the primary tool to resolve a client’s problem”. A great litigator consciously chooses the court system over ADR and can effectively use either. The problem is that most “litigators” have never even stepped into a courtroom.
Studies have shown, going to court to try a case is actually a very atypical activity for the modern litigator. Survey data indicates that litigators have had substantially more experience in resolving disputes through mediation and negotiations than by trying them to a jury. Of respondents with five years of real estate litigation experience in Houston, only 30 percent had tried even one case to a jury and only 8 percent had tried two or more jury cases. However, 93 percent of these litigators had settled at least one case through mediation or negotiation and 38 percent had settled 10 or more cases in this manner during their first five years of practice. Within the group of responding litigators with 10 years of experience, 30 percent had still never tried a case to a jury and only 36 percent had tried two or more, but all of them had settled a case through mediation or negotiations, with 70 percent having done so 10 or more times. A majority of responding litigators had not tried a single case to a jury until they had practiced for about seven years. Approximately 30 percent of all litigators responding to the survey had never tried a single case to a jury.
|Five years Experience||Ten Years Experience|
|One Jury Case||30%||70%|
|Two or More Jury Cases||8%||36%|
|One ADR Cases||93%||100%|
|Ten or More ADR Cases||38%||70%|
It is important to have a real estate litigation attorney in Houston that has trial experience. Do not get fooled by thinking that all litigators have trial experience. Trial experience can play a big role in your success in real estate litigation, as each case tells a different story. If you don’t know what to expect in the courtroom, how can you properly assess a case? How do you know what to ask for during discovery? How do you know that accepting a settlement might be the wrong move? Having a team behind you that knows what to do in these situations is why it is so beneficial to have a competent real estate litigator. Outcomes rely on many different factors, but our civil attorneys will represent you at every step in the process.
Choosing a real estate litigator can be a challenging process. In some cases real estate litigation attorneys in Houston are more concerned about their reputation versus ensuring the client is being represented to the best of the litigator’s ability. Would you want a civil attorney to advise you to settle a case because they are fearful of losing in court, or one that will give complete representation and battle for your rights?
Discovery is a pre-trial procedure in a lawsuit in which each party can obtain evidence from the other party or parties for investigative and disclosure purposes. There are basically two types of discovery, written discovery and video/audio depositions.
The disadvantage of written discovery is that it is much more difficult to acquire the info you are really seeking. In most cases, the party can hide behind their attorney and their attorney will answer the request on their behalf. The reason it is used more frequently is because it is less expensive to conduct.
What makes video depositions so powerful is that the party being deposed cannot hide behind their attorney in a live deposition. They are forced to answer the question without any help from their attorney. This gives the attorney conducting the deposition an edge. When you ask a person an important question wouldn’t you rather ask in person so you can read the person’s body language as well. Now imagine an aggressive attorney asking tough questions with a camera filming their every move. This can be intimidating and in many cases the person being deposed gives valuable information to the opposing party. The reason it is not utilize more is it can be very expensive to conduct a video deposition.
Luckily for Guerra Days Law Group clients we have our own video deposition equipment. This allows us to conduct these powerful depositions on our own schedule at a significantly lower cost. Who wouldn’t want to utilize this tool if it was more affordable?
Not only has technology played a larger role in discovery, it is beginning to take a more significant role in the courtroom. With more individuals becoming visual people during the digital age, it is important to be able to provide visuals to help sway judges and jurors towards your direction. A boring teacher has failing students just as a boring attorney has lost cases.
We are currently using software that creates a split screen displaying the video deposition and transcripts at the same time. In addition, the transcripts are highlighted and synced with the video so you can read along during the deposition. It is extremely captivating and keeps the audience engaged. When you have an audience’s attention it is an advantage and can be used to sway the audience to your side. Below is a sample of the software used during courtroom hearings.
If you don’t change with technology you will eventually get left behind no matter how good of a litigator you think you are. If the audience is bored or doesn’t understand your presentation, you can find yourself on the losing side of a verdict. Let the Guerra Days Law Group help you get the advantages you are entitled to. Be ahead of the curve and win your case. Call one of our expert litigators for a free consultation today.