While litigation should be the last resort to Collaborative Family Practice and/or mediation of disputed issues, Linda I. Braithwaite has spent 23 years as a litigation attorney, also known as a trial lawyer. She represents both Petitioners and Respondents in various types of family law cases and manages all phases of the litigation process from investigation, pleadings and discovery to pre-trial, trial, settlement and appeal.
The litigation process involves the following phases:
Initial Case Assessment and Investigation
Litigation attorneys often conduct an initial case investigation to determine the appropriate type of proceeding to bring and what evidence exists to properly represent the client to achieve the desired results. The investigation process may include efforts such as interviewing the client, locating witnesses, taking witness statements through formal or informal discovery methods, gathering and requesting documents, and investigating the facts leading to the dispute.
Litigation attorneys often engage in pre-litigation settlement discussions to resolve the matter before a lawsuit is filed. Additional assessment also includes discussion about the need to hire expert witnesses relating to issues such as, but not limited to alimony, child parenting plans, valuation of business interest.
If the attorney does not obtain a favorable outcome at trial, he or she may appeal the case. Depending on the complexity of the issues, it may be necessary to consider having an appellate attorney sitting second chair to the litigation attorney during the trial so that post-trial motions; identifying and properly preserving issues for appeal.