Evans Law Firm, PLLC believes that in most cases litigation should not be the first option. However, when a case cannot be settled through resonable attempts to reach a negotiated settlement, our office will begin to prepare an agressive litigation strategy as the case moves to trial. Though our office is located in Biloxi, Mississippi, we served individuals on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, including Harrison County, Jackson County, and Hancock County. Even though very few cases move to an actual trial, we prepare for the possiblity of trial throughout the settlement process.
There are times where trial is the only way that a party can obtain a favorable outcome. This is the case when the other party refuses to negotiate or cooperate in good faith with the negotiation process. It is likely that prior to a court setting a trial that the judge will seek to have a conference with the parties, sometimes called a pretrial conference, settlement conference, or status conference, and the judge will inquire as to the status of settlement negotiations. Oftentimes this conference will happen in the judge's office, called judge's chambers. Until the court enters its judgment after a trail or hearing, settlement continues to be an option for the parties.
When a case is set for trial it is usually set for a specific number of days, depending upon the type of case, and scheduled to begin on a set date. Some judges allot the amount of time that each party is permitted to present his/her case. The initialing party, Plaintiff or Petitioner, presents his/her case first. The defending party, Defendant or Respondent, then has an opportunity to present his/her case. Each side is permitted to cross-examine, or ask questions of, the other party's witnesses.
Once the court has heard all of the evidence presented by each side, the judge will enter an order. Some judges make a decision from the bench after the trial; however, in other cases the judge takes the issue under advisement, and the parties are notified when the judge issues the judgment after the trial. The time that it takes for the judgment to be entered varies from judge to judge, and in some cases, depending upon the complexity of the case and the court's docket, there will be a considerable amount of time between the trial and the judgment. After the entry of the court's judgment, both parties have the ability to file motions with the court and/or appeal to a higher court.
Picture of courtroom, including judge's bench.
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