Wills and Probate Attorney at Law
At the Wills and Probate Law Office of Steven K. Schwartz, P.A., our firm drafts, reviews and advises clients regarding contracts. We explain the terms of the contract so the client knows what he or she is agreeing to as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the contract. For example, many real estate agents are only allowed to fill in a contract that has already been drafted, not draft contracts. We have had clients come to us with a real estate contract filled in by a real estate agent that contemplated financing at “prevailing rates”. Clients were approved for financing that they could not afford to pay. The contract was already signed and clients had not understood the terms.
It is our job to make sure the client understands the terms of the contract so the client can make informed decisions. When clients bring our firm contracts that have an arbitration clause, we explain what arbitration involves and the expenses along with the advantages and disadvantages.
Contract litigation requires proving that terms of a contract were violated. At the Law Offices of Steven K. Schwartz we explain the basis on which a case will be decided and then proceed to gather or create legal documentation to prove our case. For example, one case we represented involved an issue of the employer alleging that workers walked off the job. The workers alleged that the employer threw them off the job. Litigation of the case would primarily revolve around this one basic issue, circumstances of leaving the job.
Litigation is not for everyone. When a person wants to file a lawsuit, he or she needs to realize the time and expense involved. Most cases will move forward for six to eight months with no apparent progress. During this time, as your attorney, Steven K. Schwartz will spend numerous hours filing motions and responding to motions filed by the other side. A counter claim against the client may be filed, which then has to be dealt with, and more time, work and expense will be required.
Negotiating a settlement is always more preferable to litigation because it saves time and costs. Our law firm frequently uses mediators in resolving cases. In Florida, the vast majority of the courts order mediation which is a supervised settlement conference. At the end of mediation negotiations, you end up with a settlement figure that both sides can live with. Typically, if neither side is happy with the amount, you know you that a compromise was reached that favored both sides, thereby achieving a good mediation result. If no agreement is reached, the case proceeds to trial.
Arbitration is another alternative to litigation, but is usually quite costly and decisions are binding. The process does not usually provide for discovery. There are extremely narrow grounds for setting aside an arbitration decision.
In a lawsuit, by comparison, discovery is the expensive part of that litigation because it takes a lot of time and effort to produce copies of documents for the other side and examine the documents from the other side. However, without discovery you won’t know about the other side of the case which is necessary for effective litigation.
In all matters of litigation, we discuss the legal issues and options in detail with our clients to arrive at an approach most suited for the client’s objectives and budget. We want clients to understand what they are getting into when they file a lawsuit in Florida or choose a form of alternative dispute resolution and to experience no unforeseen surprises.
Arrange a Consultation
We encourage you to arrange a consultation to review your contract or issues concerning general litigation. Please email or contact our Miami, Florida law office at (305) 936-8844 to arrange a consultation.