April 10, 2024
The Difficulty of Litigating Smaller Cases

For cases with up to $8,000 in controversy, Small Claims Court provides a convenient and user-friendly option where individuals and businesses can obtain relatively quick justice, often without having to hire a lawyer. If you have such a claim, run a search online for the name of your county with the words, “clerk of court,” and you will find a wealth of information to guide you through the process on your local Clerk of Court’s website.

For cases with more than $50,000 in controversy, Circuit Court has jurisdiction, and there you will need a skilled attorney to guide you through the process. There’s just no way around it. Judges get irritated with pro se (unrepresented) litigants quickly, and those litigants tend to lose quickly, one way or another.

In between those $8,000 and $50,000 thresholds, County Court has jurisdiction, and it’s unfortunately a very frustrating amount in controversy to deal with. Companies always have to be represented by a lawyer in County Court and Circuit Court. Individuals can represent themselves, but even the most sophisticated non-lawyers will be at a substantial disadvantage.

The problem, however, with hiring a lawyer for relatively small cases, even ones approaching $50,000, is that the attorneys’ fees will quickly eat up your recovery, if you are on the plaintiff’s side, and the attorneys’ fees will quickly add up to more than you could have paid to settle the case for on the defendant’s side.

There might be a basis to recover your attorneys’ fees if you win, such as a clause in a contract or statute, but the practical reality is that cases tend to settle with the litigants bearing (eating) their own fees. And even if you win the right to pursue recovery of your fees, that too is a frustrating process with quickly diminishing returns.

We tell clients these practical realities because we would rather build relationships with honesty and happy clients than earn fees on one particular case. If you need help with settling a case or determining whether it makes sense to litigate, please call us and schedule a consultation today: 239-330-1494.

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THIS BLOG IS INTENDED FOR GENERAL INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. IT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE. THE READER SHOULD CONSULT WITH KNOWLEDGEABLE LEGAL COUNSEL TO DETERMINE HOW APPLICABLE LAWS APPLY TO SPECIFIC FACTS AND SITUATIONS. BLOG POSTS ARE BASED ON THE MOST CURRENT INFORMATION AT THE TIME THEY ARE WRITTEN. SINCE IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE LAWS OR OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES MAY HAVE CHANGED SINCE PUBLICATION, PLEASE CALL US TO DISCUSS ANY ACTION YOU MAY BE CONSIDERING AS A RESULT OF READING THIS BLOG.

Published: April 10, 2024
Author: Bo Boatman
Categories : Uncategorized