Your Chances at Trial


“Never tell me the odds, Kid.”  That’s what Hans Solo said to Luke Skywalker just before they flew through the asteroids in Star Wars.  And I hear it in my head every time a client asks me what I think their chances of winning are.

First, the Code of Professional Responsibility prohibits me from giving you percentages, because each case is unique with its own set of facts.

Second, the judge weighs the testimony and credibility of the witnesses, and there is no lie detector at the bench.

Third, the judge doesn’t always get it right.

Fourth, you might win or you might lose, or it might be something in the middle.  Usually there is a least one thing in the judge’s decision to feel bad about.

Fifth, my crystal ball is cloudy.

Sixth, two judges trying the same set of facts, will give different opinions.

Seventh, judges have their own filters, feelings, history and perceptions.   Did the judge have an absent father and nurturing mother?  Is the judge divorced and mad about having to pay alimony?  Did the judge have a good breakfast or an argument with their spouse on the morning of your trial?

So your chances of winning?  It all depends.