Why engage in the litigation process? Some say, when all else fails, litigate. But it is not that simple. Sometimes the litigation process is the only option, such as when:
- You need to get the other side's attention or to show them that you are serious;
- Matters of principle require that you "get your day in court";
- One party has been a victim of domestic violence or is psychologically in a weaker position to negotiate;
- You need quick, enforceable relief through an injunction or restraining order;
- You have tried to reach a settlement the other-party is unreasonable.
- The other side’s attorney is unreasonable or is giving his/her client bad advice (Bob recently completed a five day trial because the other side’s attorney simply did not understand the law and therefore misguided her client.)
WHAT IS COURT LITIGATION?
Divorce, custody, child support, alimony and child access litigation is an adversarial process that starts with the filing of a complaint in a Maryland Circuit Court. Domestic violence litigation can start with the filing of a complaint (called a “Petition for Protection”) in either a Maryland District Court or Circuit Court. In litigation, unlike mediation or collaborative law, a third party (a master or judge) decides your fate. The litigation process generally follows these steps:
- The complaining party (the "plaintiff") files a complaint.
- The clerk issues a summons, which along with the complaint must be served on the defendant.
- After the defendant is properly served with the summons and complaint, s/he must file a response with the court (except in limited situations).
- This is usually followed by discovery, in which each side may have to answer questions in writing ("interrogatories"), produce documents to the other side, and have depositions taken. (A deposition is testimony taken under oath, usually in an attorney's office, that can be used at trial.)
- There are almost invariably motions, in which a judge or court officer decides disputes between the lawyers (e.g. one side didn't produce the required documents) or between the parties (the other party should be held in contempt of court because he/she didn't do what the court ordered previously).
- If the parties cannot settle the case, then the judge decides the matter, sometimes on motions ('one side didn't have a case so I am dismissing the action') or by trial, after hearing testimony.
Litigation Attorney Robert L. Baum: Your Personal Litigation Lawyer – Experienced, Aggressive, Reasonable Rates, with Large Law Firm Resources.
Litigation lawyer Robert L. Baum has over 25 years of litigation experience in a variety of cases, including all aspects of family law (e.g. separation, divorce, legal custody, child access and visitation, division of property, child support and alimony) and business disputes. Mr. Baum handles every family law case personally—you will not be shunted to a junior associate or paralegal. However, in larger family law disputes, he can bring in additional larger firm legal power when necessary and cost effective. Bob tries to steer his clients from litigation when possible, because it is so destructive to the family and is so expensive, But Mr. Baum enjoys being a litigation attorney because each case is a new, exciting challenge; his motto is “I work on each case as if it's the most important case I have.” If litigation is in his client’s best interest, then he will not hesitate to aggressively litigate for you.
A Well-Rounded Litigation Attorney
Mr. Baum has a proven record of being able to effectively litigate a variety of cases, in an aggressive yet cost effective manner. His experience lets him pull in the most effective techniques from different types of litigation cases. For example, he uses the aggressive tactics more common to family lawyers while using the business acumen he developed in civil cases for his family law clients. By litigating and using ADR, Mr. Baum is able to work with his clients to find the best dispute resolution process for the client and his/her family.