So your lawyer recommends filing a lawsuit to resolve your issue. The question you need to ask yourself and your lawyer is:
Are there any alternatives to consider before resorting to litigation?
To illustrate, imagine you own a home in a neighborhood that has a Home Owners Association (HOA). And further imagine that one of the homeowners refuses to attend to a glaring maintenance issue on their property that is an eyesore to the community. The HOA seeks counsel from a reportedly reputable attorney, who advises that the HOA should file a lawsuit. The lawyer estimates a large fee (note this is only an “estimate”).
Before engaging in what will likely be costly litigation, clients should always ask themselves and their lawyers if there are other ways to resolve the matter. In our hypothetical, some alternatives to explore might include:
- Is there a government agency that would intervene, like a local housing authority that conducts inspections for housing code violations?
- Is there a government sponsored conflict resolution center that provides free or minimal fee mediations or facilitations to residents?
- Are the any provisions in the HOA bylaws that could be construed or altered to provide a workable solution?
Litigation is a time-consuming, expensive and overall draining, seemingly never-ending process. And, often, it’s a crap shoot. Wise legal consumers resort to litigation only when all other alternatives fail, and when walking away is not a smarter option.