Exposing Myths About Litigation
Play episode · 59 min

John Yacos, of Yacos Law, has 30 years experience in matrimonial and family law. He joins Stacy Francis on this week’s show, to dispel the common myths about litigation, including the time it takes to get through the legal process.

  • Common myths and misconceptions about litigation arise because of statements made by professionals, the anecdotal experience of clients’ acquaintances, as well as incorrect online information. [4:04]
  • It’s important to be armed with information to guide you through the legal process with as little damage to the family as possible. John says that clients cannot make these important decisions without accurate information. [4:50]
  • Litigation is only one of the options available, and John prefers to view it as a last resort. People should always consider Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). [6:45]
  • Stacy asks, when might someone know that ADR is not a good fit and they need to take the next step to litigation? John shares several tips to help listeners decide. [8:21]
  • One common myth is that you have to choose between mediation and litigation. The truth is that you can have both: use mediation for some parts of your matter and litigation for other parts. It does not have to be one or the other. [10:18]
  • A parent coordinator can unlock seemingly intractable custodial issues. [12:25]
  • Another myth John busts is that your divorce proceeding will be quick. John says that each case is fact-specific and that there are many variables to consider, including whether you go to family court or Supreme Court. He explains the differences between the two court systems. [13:40]
  • John tells listeners what they should look for in a litigation attorney. You need someone who:
  • Can present a reasonable argument to the deciders in your case;
  • Can make their clients understand the importance of being seen as reasonable;
  • Can explain to their clients that the children’s best interest is going to be the most important consideration in litigation;
  • Is professional and ethical, and works well with other attorneys;
  • Doesn’t create barriers by being aggressive or nasty;
  • Can adapt their strategy if circumstances change. 
  • Has a high level of emotional intelligence. [21:51]
  • You don’t need the most expensive lawyer to represent you in your matter. You can get great advocacy if your lawyer is familiar with the court and knows how to resolve the five major issues of divorce with children - custody, child support, maintenance, equitable distribution and potential for counsel fees. [26:38]
  • There are only two ways to end a case, John says. One way is to come to an agreement, and the other way is when the judge renders a decision. [35:36]
  • Stacy says that a common belief is that the quickest way to end a matter is through litigation. John dispels this myth by saying that litigation is generally used to resolve issues that are more difficult. With the large number of cases before the courts, litigation is more of a marathon than a sprint, he points out. [37:32]
  • Even when you’re using ADR, you should have your own attorney advising you. The cost of a consulting attorney could save you thousands in the future. [44:44]

Resources

YacosLaw.com

Email: john@YacosLaw.com

Phone: 212-587-9560

Find out more about the Second Opinion program 

Stacy Francis: Stacy@Stacyfrancis.com

Phone: 212-374-9008

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