In an earlier blog post, I shared a handout we give our clients so that they will know what to expect in their lawsuit. All lawsuits are different, but there is one thing you can count on in every lawsuit: uncertainty. A case can go from looking good, to looking bad, to looking good again all based on the facts and evidence discovered throughout the litigation process.
Thus, each case must be built, fact by fact, until the best case possible is assembled and rolled out for trial. It’s a bit like making lasagna, it can only be done one layer at a time.
For example, in a typical Trust or Will contest, there are some facts known to the parties at the outset, such as the general condition of the decedent. If they are challenging the Will or Trust based on a lack of capacity, they may know that the decedent suffered from dementia. But did the dementia cause a lack of capacity at the time the contested document was signed? This takes medical evidence and expert testimony to determine. Once the medical evidence is received it can change the case–for better or worse.
After every step of the discovery process (the process whereby we obtain facts and evidence) the view of a case can change. Yet each stage provides us with another opportunity to layer in more facts and legal positions regarding the case.
And so we build, layer by layer, until we have the best case possible to take to trial. Or the best case possible to take into a mediation for settlement purposes. Either way, it takes a process, some patience, and ever increasing facts and evidence to blend a case together for just the right mix needed to prevail.