The resolutions of disputes occur mainly in two basic ways, settlement or trial. A settlement occurs when the parties can reach an agreement as to the amount of money to be paid to resolve the dispute. Trial occurs when the parties cannot reach agreement. At trial the outcome is decided by Judge or Jury. Although most cases do end up settling, the agreement is based on what the parties think that the Judge or Jury would do based upon the evidence that would be produced at trial.
The evidence to be produced at trial is of four types, physical evidence, demonstrative evidence, factual witness testimony and expert witness opinion testimony. The better the evidence, the better the chance of a favorable outcome. The resources of a law firm come into play by understanding what evidence is important, gathering that evidence, analyzing all evidence pro and con, knowing how to present pro evidence and knowing how to attack the con.
It is the attorney’s level of knowledge which enables the understanding of what evidence is important. Knowing what is important dictates what is gathered. It is the attorney’s knowledge and experience that enables the analysis of the evidence pro and con. It is the attorney’s knowledge and experience and skill which enables the persuasive presentation of pro evidence and the effective cross-examination of the con evidence.
Among the most important pieces of evidence in a case is that of an expert opinion. The law permits only those individuals with specialized education, training, and experience to testify as to their expert opinions about matters which are in dispute. These people are called forensic experts, or expert witnesses.
The value of particular forensic expert opinion depends on what the expert has to say, the reasoning behind the opinions, and how well they are communicated. The knowledge of the identities of the expert witnesses who can be relied upon to accurately analyze and understandably communicate their opinions is an important asset of a law firm.
Our law firm has presented and cross-examined at trial hundreds of experts in virtually every specialty of medicine as well as mechanical, electrical, structural, civil and marine engineering in addition to experts in psychology, economics, industrial safety, rehabilitation, heavy equipment operation, human factors and industrial hygiene.
Many times a proper result cannot be obtained until the case is either “at the courthouse steps” or undergoing trial. In cases where the attorney is working on a percentage-based fee, the attorney does not get paid until the client does. The ability of the firm to afford to wait for the best offer is a valuable resource to both the client and the firm.
At Blythe, Walker & Associates, we know from decades of experience that “staying power” can be an important factors. It is our goal to obtain a fair and just measure of compensation for our clients, though we are certainly not opposed to obtaining as early a resolution as is feasible. In some cases the insurance companies do come forward with reasonable offers prior to the eleventh hour. In others, the only thing that will get a serious and reasonable response is to fully prepare for and go forward with trial.
We bring: the knowledge that comes only from years of hard work and experience; the resolve to professionally analyze, evaluate and prepare your case; the contacts with the best experts; and the skill to present your case at trial if necessary and the financial strength to get the job done.