At Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison Jones, we represent many clients whose present cases are their first meaningful experience with the judicial system. As seasoned trial lawyers, it’s easy to forget how foreign and complex the process can seem to our clients. Which is why one of the first questions we often find ourselves answering is, “how long is this going to take?”
It’s a reasonable question, to be sure. Especially for a client who has been injured through the fault of another person or company and is fighting to get back on their feet physically, emotionally and financially. Unfortunately, the judicial system seldom works as quickly as we all would like. So, there is no easy answer.
Like most legal matters, there are several things that influence the length of time a particular case may take to be resolved. In addition to the procedural schedules intended to give all concerned parties a fair amount of time to respond to filings, gather evidence and so forth, other factors may include:
- Which state or federal court system the case is filed in;
- The caseload of the judge assigned to the case;
- The number of parties involved in the case and where they are located;
- The complexity of the legal issues in question;
- The availability of evidence and relevant witnesses and experts;
- Unexpected findings or events through the discovery period that may cause delays;
- Whether the case can be settled or if it must go to trial; Etc.
As you can see, there are far too many factors for an attorney to be able to accurately predict how long an individual case may take to resolve, and we understand how frustrating that can be. That’s why we encourage our clients to ask questions and help arm them with as much information about the process and what to expect as possible. So, you can rest assured that we’re doing everything we can to get the justice you deserve as quickly and efficiently as possible.