Chapter%203 - Chapter 3: The Litigation/Trial Process David...

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Chapter 3: The Litigation/Trial Process David Baumer Spring 2003
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The Trial Process Litigation is expensive and risky for various reasons Damage awards can be highly variable Juries can be overpowered by emotion and award sums far in excess of “actual” damages In addition, things could leak out during litigation that could generate adverse publicity Often caused by ex-employees For these and other reasons, companies often take many measures to avoid court appearances
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The Adversarial Process If both parties have standing, it means They have real current interests at stake In general the plaintiff has the burden of proving by a Preponderance of the evidence that his or her version of events are accurate and Deserving of a verdict in his or her favor
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Value of a Lawsuit: Plaintiff The value of a lawsuit is based on Expected values , which may have large variances, and Reducing to present value , when any damage award is actually received Adjustments should be made for adverse publicity cost of litigation loss of future business relationship risk aversion—probably should imagine the worst
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Value of a Lawsuit: Defendant Businesses are frequent targets for litigation For business to business suits, there should be significant savings if the parties settle These savings can be realized if the parties have similar expectations as to the outcome of the case In many cases court litigation can be avoided altogether if the parties have agreed in a contract to arbitrate and have waived their right to sue in court The decision as to how to deal with nuisance suits should take reputation into account
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Stages of Litigation In most cases when a person has a potential claim against another person, a settlement occurs, rather than litigation Settlements can occur at any stage in litigation Litigation begins with pleadings Followed by motions If motions to dismiss are denied then discovery begins Following discovery there is a pretrial conference , a trial and then more motions and possible appeals
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Litigation Litigation may appear linear but it is actually iterative Pleadings The complaint is a short statement of facts which the plaintiff claims entitles him to a court remedy, if proved Pleadings provides general notice to the defendant as to what the suit is about Once the complaint is filed the defendant is served with a summons Occasionally defendants evade lawsuits by evading service of summons
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Pleadings and Motions After the def. is served He or she is required to
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Chapter%203 - Chapter 3: The Litigation/Trial Process David...

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