What happens in pretrial negotiations?

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2024 | Firm News

Pretrial negotiations are an important part of the legal process. In them, the parties to a lawsuit try to settle their differences before going to trial.

Understanding what happens during these negotiations can help demystify the steps leading up to a trial.

Starting the discussion

Negotiations often begin after everyone has filed their legal papers and before the trial starts. Lawyers from both sides meet to exchange information and discuss the case, helping each side understand the strengths and weaknesses of their arguments.

Looking for ways to settle

The main goal is to find a way to settle the case without a trial. Settling can save time and money and keep the outcome more under control. During these talks, lawyers might discuss money settlements, actions the defendant should take or public apologies. These negotiations are usually confidential and require both sides to agree on the terms.

Using mediators

Sometimes, a mediator, who is a neutral person, helps the parties discuss their issues. The mediator’s job is to help find a solution both sides can agree on, not to decide who is right.

Making decisions

If the parties agree on a settlement, they sign a legal agreement that ends the dispute. If they cannot agree, the case goes to trial. Not reaching a settlement doesn’t mean the negotiations have failed; they can continue alongside the trial preparations.

Benefits of successful negotiations

Successful negotiations can end a case quicker and more cheaply than going to trial. They also let both sides have more say in the outcome, unlike a trial where the judge or jury decides.

Understanding these steps helps you see how pretrial negotiations play a big role in solving legal disputes efficiently.

In The Media:

  • ABC | Nightline
  • The O'Reilly Factor
  • Court TV
  • ABC | 2020
  • CNN
  • Larry King Live
  • The Miami Herald
  • Good Morning America