Secret confession time here: I *love* my Law & Order. And while I’ve been known to suffer through SVU or, God forbid, Criminal Intent, it’s the original Law & Order (with uber-cool Detective Lennie Briscoe and the always wild-eyebrow of Jack McCoy) that really makes my day.
Some clients wonder why I like to watch a legal show on television after a day of practicing law. The answer is because the real world of law is nothing like that on shown on TV. Things happen so fast and so amazingly on the show, it is fun way to wind down the day.
On Law & Order, a subpoena is issued for bank documents, and, faster than you can say, “cha-chunk”, the documents are rolling through the office. Court cases are wrapped up in neat tidy 60 minute packages (including time for discovering the real killer). The lawyers get to ask unfair questions—make self-serving testimony and arguments to the jury—and it doesn’t matter, because they are on the side of truth, justice, and the American way. Law & Order is many things, but an accurate representation of a court case, it is not.
What does this have to do with YOUR court case? Everything. Sure, you expect your construction case will be different from a “sexy” homicide case, but are you really prepared for just how different it will be? How long it will take? The delays, stalling, and prevarication the other side will be allowed? Probably not. Until now.
Over the next several weeks, I plan to walk you through a “typical” construction defect lawsuit—from the first initial phone call from the project manager that something might be amiss, to the dreaded yellow paperwork delivered by the Sheriff (if you are really lucky), the famed “courthouse steps” settlement discussions, and even the angst-producing knock on the jury room door announcing a verdict. Stay tuned for Part 1 of the new series: Law & Order: Hard Hat files, starting next Tuesday. [And Dick Wolfe, if you steal my title for your next television series, please give me credit and a cut!]