Haffner Law Group maintains over fifty years of combined litigation experience, including over thirty five jury trials, many arbitrations and mediations, hundreds of depositions and countless hours involved in the process of litigating claims. All of that experience may be distilled down to a recognition of the three key elements of every successful litigation, whether for the plaintiff, seeking recompense for a wrong, or the defendant, contesting the nature or validity of a claim.
Credibility: Every successful litigation, no matter which side is involved, is based critically upon the credibility of the claims, or the defenses, of the testimony of the witnesses, of the persuasiveness of the written evidence, of the nature and extent of the damages asserted or the merits of how they are contested. The believability of the plaintiff, or of the key witnesses, of the primary expert, may either push an entire case towards a favorable outcome, like a strong tailwind, or sink even the best case or superior defense like a weighty anchor, dragging the case to the deepest depths.
Make sure that your trial lawyer knows everything there is possible to know about your case—every possible fact, the identity of every potential witness, the location of every conceivable documents, that supports your case. A lack of credibility in your case will most certainly be discovered by your skilled opponent and exploited to your detriment.
If you suspect that a witness is not offering credible testimony, or a document fails to include all the information discussed by the parties, or an expert seems disengaged, discuss the evidence with your lawyer. Know that your case, whether in seeking damages or seeking to preclude them, is based upon the credibility of the evidence produced.
Integrity: The jury ultimately sits as the judge and arbiter of the facts. The jury determines what the facts are, sifting through the evidence as presented by the different sides of the case and deciding what carries the most weight towards truth. Plaintiffs, defendants and/or their lawyers that seek to press the ethical envelope are invariably caught, either by opposing counsel or the judge. Juries are particularly sensitive to the integrity of the claims or defense raised. Jurors as well usually have a keen sense of the truth, and are able to recognize a lack of integrity in a claim, no matter which side is advocating it.
Prosecuting your case’s claims or defenses with integrity is not just a cliché, but it will actually provide great strides towards accomplishing the case’s best resolution possible.
Respect: If one side of a case, whether a plaintiff or a defendant, treats the litigation process with respect, including the judge, opposing counsel and, if the case goes to trial, the witnesses and the jury, significant advantages are opened up over the opposed counsel that may not address the process with the same level of value. In litigation before trial, judges are generally sensitive to how the parties’ attorney address or treat each other and, at times, the nature or tenor of an attorney’s behavior may color the result, whether rendered by a judge, jury or arbitrator.
Even though the litigation process can be stressful, confusing and frustrating, particularly when it seems that things are not going your way, ensuring that you, and particularly your counsel, treat the process, the opposing counsel, the judge, the witnesses and the jury with the proper respect shall certainly enhance the merits of your case.