3 Delay Tactics Used by Litigation Lawyers
Courts are supposed to administer justice to the plaintiffs within the shortest time possible. Any delays in the administration of justice may sound like the plaintiff has been denied their rights, which is not the primary essence of the country’s courts. However, besides all the acts of good faith used during a legal battle, it is essential to note that courts delay administering justice in very many cases.
In some instances, courts are specifically responsible for delays in administering justice. Some of the significant reasons why courts may delay in dispensing justice include:
- Lack of courtrooms
- Case not assigned to a judge
- Judge withdrawing from a case
- Missing court documents
- Lack of resources to case proceedings
Although these situations are justifiable, they rarely happen. Courts are always ready and willing to administer justice within the shortest time possible. Most of the delays are caused by the defense lawyers as they intend to prolong the case with the primary aim of blocking the path to justice. Here are some of the underhand strategies and tactics used by defense attorneys to delay case proceedings.
1. Claiming Not To Have Received Charge Sheet
Claiming to not have received a charge sheet is one of the most common underhand strategies that defense lawyers use to prolong the hearing process. This argument means that the defense attorney does explicitly not know why their client has been brought before a judge. As such, they must be served with the charge sheet, after which they will prepare for defense.
In criminal proceedings, failure to have the charge sheet to the defense lawyers may cause the defendant to suffer prejudice, which means that they must be given the charge sheet while allowing time to prepare for responses. This simple tactic can delay proceedings by more than two weeks or a month.
2. Challenging the Validity of Documents
Another common practice that defense lawyers have perfected for many years is challenging the validity of plaintiffs’ documents. In most cases, defense lawyers will claim forgery for the supporting documents presented in court. For example, legal agreements, medical reports and financial statements are some of the documents that bring the forgery argument in place.
In this scenario, the plaintiff is required to ascertain the validity of the documents. Some of the papers involved may require official stamps, while independent bodies must assess others. In such circumstances, the judge may delay the case for up to six months, which causes the plaintiff to suffer prejudice.
3. Absence of the Lawyer in Court
In some instances, defense lawyers knowingly fail to report to court to hear the matter before the judge. This is one of the most common tactics that lawyers have been using to delay justice for many years. Lawyers will always be absent when a critical decision is likely to be given by the court. In most cases, attorneys will argue with sick leaves, family problems and other personal issues.
In cases where two or more lawyers are involved, one may turn absent and thereby force the court to fix another date for proceedings. Due to the number of cases that the court has to handle, it may take weeks or months to find another day and time when everyone is comfortable to continue with the case.
Sometimes the case may be complete, but the settlement check takes more than enough time to be processed and delivered. When you can no longer wait for that settlement check, you need to liaise with your attorney to ensure that everything was done exhaustively. Sometimes the settlement check may delay because some essential documents were not delivered to the insurance company.