Avoiding Common Mistakes During Litigation
Can’t get through to your debtor?
Have you decided to take legal action?
While you know your case is valid, you’ll still need to prove it in court. Even when it’s difficult or time-consuming, presenting a strong case requires bringing documents, witnesses, and other relevant evidence to court.
Common mistakes in small claims court include:
Not knowing who may represent your company – If your business is incorporated or if you intend to send an employee to represent your company in court, make sure the court’s rules permit you or the employee to appear without a lawyer. Determine in advance who may appear in court by asking the civil court clerk or by reviewing the small claims court pamphlet.
Expecting the judge to guide you – Don’t expect the judge to help you remember important facts, present your testimony and evidence, or tell you if you’ve forgotten to address a key issue. Some small claims judges are helpful, but some will let you sink or swim on your own.
Appearing without full documentation – If you find yourself telling the judge, “I left my file at home,” it probably means you’re going to lose the case.
Lacking conviction – The judge should sense that you believe in your case. Present your case in a manner that tells the judge, “I’m right, and I deserve the money the defendant owes me.”
Failing to bring a key witness – If a witness has important testimony to share, bring the witness to court. Even if your court permits you to submit affidavits, a written statement is usually given little weight in deciding a case because there’s no opportunity for cross-examination or assessment of witness credibility. If you don’t produce an important witness in court, you send a signal to the judge that you don’t really care if you win or lose.
Collection Services in Michigan
Since 1961, our top-rated lawyers have been dedicated to professionally and aggressively pursuing the money you’re owed in a straightforward, ethical manner. With offices in Birmingham and Grand Rapids, we handle claims against debtors located in Michigan, even if you are located out of state or out of the country.