Litigation and the All-Important Preliminary Assessment

Litigation and the All-Important Preliminary Assessment

July 27, 2020

Anyone who’s looking to file a lawsuit will have questions: Do I have the basis for a suit? Is this worth pursuing? What might the outcome be? 

As a legal professional, Calkins Law has answers. But we also recognize the value of research – we’d never just answer off the cuff. A thorough preliminary assessment allows us to better evaluate a client’s situation and possible legal impacts. Investigation is at the core of every case we take on. 

Clients' Best Interest

As legal experts, we are trained to be questioning. We can’t afford to not know the whole truth, because facts can determine rulings. So research is key to knowing the best path forward for a client. This is how we can learn whether the plaintiff has enough evidence to file a lawsuit. A thorough assessment can also reveal whether a defendant can adequately defend a potential suit or bring a counter- or cross-claim. That can mean a lot of digging – locating and interviewing witnesses, conducting multiple client interviews, gathering and compiling documents, following leads, and more. Of course the end goal is always to determine what’s in the client’s best interest and then pursue that course. 

Cases often settle, that’s just a well-known fact. But we’ll never push for either settling or for a trial. Instead, we work with each client to devise an effective game plan. The decision then comes down to the individual, and our advice will depend on an understanding both of relevant facts and of our client’s wishes. 

A thorough litigation risk assessment can help to uncover key data and reveal the best way to proceed. Various factors come into play, such as:

  • benefits and risks to the client
  • strengths and weaknesses of the case
  • proposed budget and timeframe
  • possible outcomes and the likelihood of success
  • overall scope and effect of a lawsuit

  • alternative legal remedies


Some of these data points will be estimates, but they’ll give clients a good idea of what to expect. Once the client has a comprehensive view of the issues at hand the way forward becomes more clear. And though we strive for a particular outcome, there is always an element of risk involved – things can and do turn out differently than anticipated.

Guided By Facts

In the end, our goal is to make the litigation process as streamlined as possible for our clients. Once we know all the facts it’s easier to gauge a client’s risk tolerance. Some can handle the stress and bear the costs, while others could feel that the risks outweigh the benefits. We let our clients and their situation serve as guides to their best outcome and we work within their parameters of success. And though it’s our responsibility to set truth before fiction and bring reality to the fore, we never lose sight of the fact that we are in this fight for our clients. 

In the end, everything comes down to effective case management. With over 100 combined years in the legal world, that’s something you can expect from Calkins Law. And for us, the all-important preliminary assessment acts as an ideal starting point. We also find that having an outcome objective is key, much like a destination is vital to a road trip –– without it you’re likely expending time, effort, and money that might not get you where you want to be. Once we can pair goals with facts, we can then work to plot a realistic course to success. 

Other Considerations

One crucial area that can sometimes be overlooked is whether a client holds an insurance policy that can address some of the issues at hand. If they do, we can get in touch with the company and get the claims process underway for our client. But regardless of what avenues we may employ, the faster the initial assessment, the better. Another major element to consider each and every time litigation is on the table is the relevant statute of limitations in the case. This will vary from state to state and with the type of suit.

Trust in Calkins

At Calkins Law Firm we are focused firmly on our clients. Your hopes and goals ultimately affect how we use our legal expertise on your behalf. Together we can do the work needed to understand every facet of your legal situation and forge a path toward success. Learn how we can help you to find the best outcome for your legal challenges. Get in touch today!

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