By: Emilee Gehling and Kecia Van’t Hof
Litigation is a very time-consuming process and can take a lot of preparation and organization to get ready for. Therefore, it is very helpful for a client to have everything prepared and ready on their end before the litigation takes place. Here are some helpful tips that you, as the client, can help your attorney in preparation for litigation.
For starters, you should limit your communication with the other side. It is important for you to do this so that you and your attorney are on the same page. You want to make sure that nothing comes out of left field and that your attorney is aware of everything concerning the matter at hand. It is always important to remember that any written down communications can be used in the course of the litigation as evidence. Therefore, it is wise to refrain from creating written evidence, such as text messages and emails, to the adverse party without the green light from your attorney.
In addition to not creating anymore evidence, you also want to make sure that you are preserving the evidence already in your possession. It is helpful for the client to keep all communications that the adverse party sends to you. Again, written documents can be used as evidence so if the opposing party is sending text messages or emails that have information that can be used during the litigation, preserve it for your attorney. Further, any information that you have that relates to the dispute at hand, you should preserve. Do NOT destroy any information in writing that is related to the dispute. If it comes out during litigation that you destroyed any sort of information, no matter how small, this will not be good for the outcome of your case.
Further, it is very important for a client not to stir up any more mischief than what has already been done. This means that you should never make aggressive or nasty comments to the adverse party. This only makes things get messier than they need to be. Further, it can be used against you at trial to make you look like the “bad guy” in the case. It is important for you to remain cordial in all situations prior to litigation. Remaining cordial will make you look respectful and mature, which is never a bad thing.
Finally, and perhaps the most important, if you have any questions before your litigation takes place, always ask your attorney. It is better to be on the same page and for you to fully understand what it is that you need to be doing, or what your attorney is asking of you. Never hesitate to clear up any questions or concerns with your attorney before the litigation takes place.