Litigators with Experience
Litigation Practice: Trial and Appeal
Litigation is the most serious legal decision a client will make. Risk assessment are prudent. Financial commitment must match the goals of litigation and be backed up by solid legal advice and sound strategic decisioning. The judge needs to see your position as legitimate, effective and convincing. There must be constructive dialogue with the opposing counsel. We are currently entertaining these types of cases:
- Business/Commercial/Contract/Proprietary Rights Disputes
- Corporate/Ownership Disagreements
- Income, BPT, Real Property, Withholding Tax Disputes
- Real Property Disputes
- Inheritance/Probate Issues
- Regulatory/Administrative Investigations and Proceedings
- Government Procurement Protests and Litigation
- White Collar
- Professional Discipline
- Civil Rights
- Strategic Objective Litigation
Our attorneys practice in all Guam’s courts, local and federal, and maintain licenses to practice law in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, Texas and Florida.
Prelitigation for Plaintiffs and Claimants
A dispute of some kind always precipitates a lawsuit. Having lawyered for billion-dollar global financial institutions, government agencies that generate surplus and ones wholly funded by taxpayers, as well as individuals in business, or in a personal capacity, we know that litigation should be the last resort and only after it is clear that there is no other alternative. Because money, land, investments, companies, rights, dignity are most often at the core of these disputes and emotions may run high. Clients need to know the unvarnished truth, their alternatives to litigation, and the likely results of the alternatives.
Facts mean everything because ultimately, if the case goes the distance, there has to be absolute command of the evidence and how it can be used. We freely advise that our clients engage the services of private investigators, forensic accountants, pathologists, and other experts who have reputation and track records of expertly and competently gathering evidence and testifying to them at trial. Facts also facilitate presuit settlement, which must always be weighed, especially if funding is or may be an issue.
Prelitigation also means matching client objectives to legal means. This starts with analysis of the strength of possible legal claims, the jurisdiction of the court, arbitrators/mediators, or administrative agency, and deadlines (statute of limitations) for bringing a claim.
Prelitigation: Adverse Party to a Misunderstanding, Dispute or Controversy;
Defendant, Respondent in a Lawsuit, Arbitration or Administrative Proceeding
Clients who expectedly or unexpectedly find themselves on the receiving end of a lawsuit or threat of one must act quickly to guard against default and inexcusable failure to take full advantage of, or respond to, critical pretrial procedures. While for claimants, the facts are important to know up front, for parties being sued, the immediate, post-filing issues are almost all legal ones.
Together with capturing all the relevant facts, including as may be required by any demands to preserve evidence, and asserting and maintaining confidences and privileges, the initial response to a lawsuit may be a motion for dismissal before an answer is even lodged. Whether it be remittitur, lack of jurisdiction, or other bar to suit, this tests the other side’s case, as much as its willingness and ability to prosecute vigorously.
The immediate, post-suit response also sets the stage for settlement. It is important for the decision-maker to be realistic and reflect on “Day 2”: what is the level of commitment to the defense of the lawsuit? A client answerable to business constituents may have to justify expenditures. Often this is a straightforward ratio of expenses to revenue/recovery to show how much is expected to be spent to avoid payment, based on the prospects of prevailing on the merits. Righteous indignation may have little sway when faced with the economic impact of a full-throated response to a lawsuit.
Otherwise, where the client is particularly willing and capable, the strategy may be to take all appropriate legal steps to ensure a full defense of the litigation. This may lengthen the time to recovery and prove costly enough to discourage the plaintiff from going further or other plaintiffs from filing similar suits or to develop an advantageous bargaining position. This strategy is most often employed by institutional or well-funded clients.
Litigation: Hearing on the Merits, Trial, Appeal
A case that is headed toward a judgment requires significant attention as the parties shape the presentation of the evidence and the arguments. This is where clients are best served by experienced litigators. Our attorneys have experience litigating in different jurisdictions, with many different types of cases, and at different levels of legal dispute.
The key to litigation is the ability of the attorney to make (or break) the case in front of the judge and jury. If in a jury trial, the client should have the benefit of an attorney who is skilled at picking juries to match to the presentation of the case. If in front of a judge, the client should have the benefit of a thoroughly assessed legal position and argument about facts.
Once empaneled, the judge and the jury must soon come to know that the attorney is in obvious and complete command of the facts and the law, no matter how the situation looks to the trained or untrained eye. Judges and juries give subtle clues that experienced trial attorneys can pick up and exploit to full advantage (or disadvantage). There is a tremendous undercurrent despite what may look like tedium.
Our litigators come prepared for the case.