negotiate a settlement

Why sometimes is it better to negotiate a settlement?

When many people think about the legal system, they think about shows involving lawyers, which tend to focus on the courtroom process in highly dramatized scenes where people are debating in front of a jury over an important issue. When people think about scenes like this, they are usually thinking about litigation or the process of taking legal action.


Often, clients will speak to a lawyer or a law firm and expect that the first step should be to start a litigation process. However, litigation is only a small part of the legal industry, particularly when it comes to civil law, and often it is not the best solution for most cases. There are several reasons why your case may never see the inside of a courtroom, and why your lawyer might suggest that you do everything that you can to avoid the litigation process altogether.


Litigation can be necessary, and it can be very beneficial in cases where it is needed, but in most cases, it is better to avoid the litigation process if possible. 


What are the Drawbacks of Litigation?


Litigation is an extremely expensive process. It can already be expensive to engage in legal action at all, but litigation can take that to a new extreme. It often takes a significant amount of time for a case to even enter court, and then it is a long process until a decision is reached. Before the case enters court, there will also be a long period of time spent collecting evidence and getting arguments ready, which can add to the length of the process.


Litigation can also be very impersonal and unpredictable. While it can be a good idea to pursue litigation for some issues where you are fairly certain that you will see the outcome that you want from it, there is also a chance that the other side could win, and you could walk away with only legal fees. 


Finally, litigation can burn bridges between the two parties. Sometimes, even if you are pursuing legal action against someone, it might be a good idea to remain on good terms with them. For example, if they are your employer, a business partner, or someone that you are likely to need to interact with again, it may not be a good idea to ruin any chance of a further relationship. Litigation can be a long, grueling process that can leave both parties feeling resentful of one another and unwilling to work together in the future.


There Are Many Steps Before Litigation


The litigation process usually happens late into the development of any given case, after steps to avoid litigation have shown not to work. 


Usually, in employment law, a case will begin with a demand letter, which is a letter sent by a law firm that alerts the other party to your demands. The letter will usually include a list of demands from the lawyer’s client, such as the amount of severance pay that they are owed, and the next steps that the law firm will take if the demands are not met. In some cases, the case will end there, and the client will get what they asked for from the person that they were interested in taking legal action against. 


Other times, the demands of the letter will not be met, and the client may choose to continue pursuing legal action. To someone unfamiliar with the process, it may seem like litigation would be the logical next step, but there are other ways to solve the issue before litigation is used.


Other Paths to a Solution


Aside from litigation, there are other methods that a lawyer may suggest you use to find a solution to your problem. Many of these solutions involve meeting with the other party and trying to find a solution to the issue that suits both of you. This can save time, money, and your relationship with the other party. 


These methods are usually called alternative dispute resolution methods, and include negotiation, arbitration, and mediation. These alternative dispute resolution methods are generally more cost-effective, quicker, and beneficial to everyone involved. You can see a good outcome in a lot less time, and for a fraction of the cost of litigation.


When Litigation is Necessary


Despite other potential avenues that can be taken, sometimes litigation is still necessary. Sometimes an agreement cannot be reached, or one party is having trouble settling, and litigation must be pursued in the end. If this is the case, don’t fear. A qualified lawyer will still be able to see you through the process and try to get you the best result.




For many people, litigation is most of what they know about the legal industry. It is what is shown on TV and on the news, and a courtroom is the first thing that people picture when they think of a lawyer. But the legal field is much more than just litigation, and in many cases, litigation is more trouble than it’s worth. 


Unless your case eventually calls for it, you may find yourself never ending up in court at all. Alternative dispute resolution methods and pre-litigation steps can help you save time, money, and stress in the long run. 


If you have a legal issue that you want to pursue, make sure to reach out to a qualified workplace lawyer at Achkar Law to learn more about the process.