In the legal world, the trial portion of procedure is looked upon as the final frontier. It is the culmination of pleadings, negotiations, conferences, etc. If a case goes to trial, it basically means that the parties could not reach a settlement and therefore they are putting all of their faith and trust in the presiding judge.
Going to trial, whether it be a civil or criminal matter always carries some risks. Unlike a settlement, the parties face an unknown outcome and are essentially rolling the dice, so to speak. A trial is often look at as an all or nothing type of thing. A person can walk out of the court room as happy as a clam or they can be dragged out kicking and screaming.
For this very reason it is extremely important for litigants to enter into negotiations with an open mind and decent attitude. When it comes to reaching a settlement, the parties have, at the very least, some sort of control over their own destiny. This in part will help guarantee them with an outcome they can live with. One or more parties may not get exactly what they were looking for but with a reasonable settlement, they at least have the opportunity to come to some sort of acceptable compromise.
More often than not, however, emotions get the better of us and we as a whole are not quick to compromise when it comes to issues we believe in and feel strongly about. When this occurs, settlement negotiations typically are thrown out the window and it’s off to trial, full steam ahead. This is all well and good, but again, going to trial can be risky business and should only be conducted on legal merit and not on haste and raw emotion.
So the next time you or someone you care about is faced with a legal dilemma, make sure heads remain as cool as possible. In doing so, you will have a greater chance to prevail and prosper.
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