You Can’t Rush Litigation

Most litigants would like to see the speedy resolution of their lawsuits. Litigation is time-consuming and expensive. But your litigation strategy should not indicate to your opponent that you are eager to settle or seem hurried to come to judgment. You can’t rush litigation.

You Can't Rush Litigation -- Lee Legal DC VA MD

The scheduling order

In every case, there is a scheduling order set by the court that establishes discovery and motions deadlines, as well as hearing and trial dates. Changing these dates without adequate cause usually requires consent of both parties. Seeking to push back dates signals weakness. If you have problems with the dates, the time to resolve those problems is at the scheduling hearing, not after.

You can’t rush strategy

Your strategy may be to delay the litigation. Obviously, you cannot rush delay.

Your strategy, on the other hand, may be to settle quickly. Neither can that strategy be rushed. If both parties will accept the full amount of the claim as resolution, then the litigation can be ended at any time. But if you seek an equitable or even advantageous resolution, you can’t rush your litigation strategy.

Your strategy may be to create commotion, to confound your opponent. These types of tactics can trigger tumult for an adversary, but rushed pleadings and responses only open opportunities for an opponent.

Effective litigation strategies rarely involve haste.

In short, you can’t rush litigation

Certainly, the court will not be rushed. The judge’s job is to move her cases along efficiently. But you can’t rush the judge.

An adversary amenable to hurried resolution may be attempting to hide something. If you feel that a solution seems too easy, it may be just that. You can be sure that opposing counsel will read your actions and adjust their strategy accordingly. Rushing indicates positional or postural weakness. Instead, send a signal of strength.

You can rush litigation, but for many reasons, you shouldn’t.

About Brian V. Lee 509 Articles
Brian V. Lee provides bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, business turnaround, and litigation services to clients in the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland. Brian was the Washington, D.C. state chair of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys from 2016 to 2018.