If you are planning to start a lawsuit in New York State Court, one of your first tasks is helping you lawyer investigate the facts of your case. Believe it or not, case investigation of your civil litigation matter begins before you walk into your lawyers door and may not end until a judgement has been entered and money has been collected.
There are 2 ways of case investigation:
- Informal fact gathering;
- Formal discovery requests as per the CPLR. These discovery requests are generally made when a lawsuit has been commenced.
Why is fact investation important:
- It’s the law. An attorney cannot bring a lawsuit in New York without making a reasonable investigation that your claim has merit. If you decide to bring a lawsuit without merit, you can be subject to civil money penalties by the judge.
- It helps the lawyer research the proper areas of the law. You may believe that you have a simple case where the company that you would like to sue owes you money and they have no defense. However, a full investigation of the facts may reveal that they have a defense, such as the good that you sold to them were not delivered timely.
In New York State Court civil litigation, there is usually little argument about the law. Based on my experience, the side that is able to present the most facts, and present the most logical and pursuasive argument usually wins. Since the vast majority of New York civil litigation cases are settled before trial, it is especially important to convince opposing counsel that the facts of your case are overwealimingly in your favor.
A good lawyer will understand the court’s rules, knows what it takes to uncover evidence helpful to your case without intervention (such as gleaning evidence from social networks) along with the tenacity to press the court to obtain all the evidence to help your obtain your desired outcome.
The Law Office of Frederic R. Abramson represents both plaintiffs and defendants in New York State Court in civil litigation. If you have any questions regarding starting or defending a lawsuit in New York, contact me at 212-233-0666