Frequently Asked Questions About Litigation In Illinois
No one wants to spend time and money litigating a dispute, and most people will seek alternatives when they exist. But there are times when litigation is necessary, and it is important to know what to expect regarding the process and potential outcomes.
Below, we’ve answered some common questions about litigation. After reading, you can contact the Law Offices of Douglas Belofsky, P.C., for answers to additional questions as well as case-specific guidance on your legal matter.
I’m in a dispute with my business partner. Is litigation expensive?
Yes! Litigation is both expensive and time-consuming, and you are at the mercy of court dockets. Hearings and decisions can take months or even years, and every additional step adds time and expense. This is why most litigated matters settle before trial. And if that’s an option for you, it is worth considering.
Can I handle litigation on my own, without an attorney?
No. This is neither an effective way to resolve your dispute or to save money. Litigation requires very strong knowledge and understanding of the civil procedure, and only an experienced trial attorney will have these skills. Going without an attorney will likely result in a mistake or omission that could damage your case and end up costing more money than hiring a lawyer. Additionally, if you do make a mistake, there is no “do-over” option. Judges and court clerks are not there to help you, particularly when it comes to procedural matters.
Can I recover my attorney’s fees in litigation?
This is sometimes possible, but it is not typical. Each party generally pays their own attorney fees. You’ll need to pay those fees to your attorney unless there is a contractual allocation stating otherwise or a finding of wrongdoing.
How do I collect my judgment? What if the other party goes into bankruptcy?
Unfortunately, collecting a judgment is sometimes as complex as obtaining it in the first place. There are statutory collection laws you’ll need to follow, which is one reason why you’ll need an experienced attorney.
The collection becomes more complicated if the other party files for bankruptcy. You’ll need to be very careful, because violations of the bankruptcy code’s automatic stay provision can lead to expensive sanctions from the bankruptcy court.
I’m about to get sued. Can I protect my assets by putting them in my spouse’s name?
With the exception of your house, you cannot transfer asset ownership to your spouse. And even transferring your house is not advisable because your spouse could then be sued.
Courts do not look kindly on attempts to circumvent valid judgments. Instead of trying to get creative with asset ownership, you should work with an experienced attorney who can explain the limits on which assets are subject to collection and can help protect your interests if you are subject to a judgment.
Discuss Your Legal Options During An Initial Consultation
The Law Offices of Douglas Belofsky, P.C., offers highly experienced representation in courtroom litigation along with knowledgeable advice and guidance. To discuss your options and get your questions answered, contact the firm in Northbrook, Illinois, to schedule an initial consultation. Call 847-464-9303 or fill out the online contact form.