When a business transaction starts to fall apart, that's when you need a litigation lawyer. You don't want to compromise your legal position during negotiations and must ensure a settlement that protects your rights.

If the case does go to court, the attorneys at Wolcott Rivers Gates are familiar with the various legal remedies such as injunction, money damages, punitive damages and attorney’s fees. We have experience in state, federal and small claims courts. We also understand alternate dispute resolution (ADR) approaches like mediation, arbitration and judicial settlement conferences.

Our litigation attorneys handle plaintiffs’ claims as well as defense of claims, including class action suits. We approach every case with confidence and focus on what's best for the client. We have handled litigation throughout the courts of the Commonwealth of Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina in both federal and state courts as well as bankruptcy court. Finally, we are proud to list Fortune 500 companies among the clients for whom we provide significant litigation services.

No matter what side you are on, we can help if litigation, mediation or arbitration are on the horizon.

From Small Claims to Class Actions

Through extensive research, gathering of evidence and preparation, our skilled litigators and mediators have produced successful results for countless clients. We can litigate and arbitrate in all federal and state courts. From small claims to class actions, our attorneys have seen and done it all:

  • Business disputes, contracts and torts

  • Appeals

  • Real estate issues

  • Lender liability claims

  • Tort defense

  • Contract disputes

  • Employment involving discrimination and discharges

  • Construction issues

  • Estate and fiduciary contests

  • Arbitration

  • Injunctions

  • Criminal defense

  • Landlord tenant disputes

  • Environmental compliance

  • Eminent domain/condemnation

Read more about litigation and why it might be right for your situation below.

Perhaps the most critical decision made by a potential litigant is the selection of counsel to represent them. This is a time of specialization so clients should look for counsel who by their education, training and experience makes them best suited to handle the case.

So, the question becomes: If you are looking for someone to handle a significant dispute that may end up in court, do you want someone who is skilled in handling disputes, or do you want someone who concentrates in the underlying subject matter? Stated another way: If you know that you are going to court over a will contest, for example, do you want an estate attorney or do you want a litigator? In certain types of matters the lawyer is both. Attorneys practicing criminal law are criminal litigators. They have to be. The same is true in the area of domestic relations. Attorneys that hold themselves out as divorce practitioners are holding themselves out as litigators. So are bankruptcy practitioners in that they litigate in a discreet legal field: U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Aside from those listed above, with maybe a couple more exceptions, it may not always be the best choice to select a lawyer to litigate simply because the lawyer has experience with the topic. Real estate, wills and trusts, taxes, business, banking, leases, construction and contracts, to name a few subjects matters, are areas where there are attorneys who practice every day “in that field” but who do not have the extensive experience that is needed in litigation.

The specialization needed is that of “litigation”. Litigation is a discreet practice area and requires specific personal skills and accumulated knowledge. In Virginia there are four (4) separate state courts, General District Court, Circuit Court, Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. Each with separate sets of rules. Further, there are rules of general applicability such as the Rules of Evidence that are critical to trials. Also, the Code of Virginia has an entire volume dealing with topics directly related to litigation from abatement to Voir Dire. In addition to all of the foregoing there exists in Virginia a second but very distinct array of courts operating under Federal law. The Federal Courts have their own sets of rules and practices that vary substantially from those in the state system. If anything, the federal system is even more complex than the state system. The point: knowing these rules of practice and procedure, knowing the rules of evidence, knowing the jurisdictions and what type of case can be brought where and when is a discrete skill set and practice area and knowledge there is best earned through experience.

A good litigator can learn, through the client and the occasional consultant, all that is needed to be known about the underlying subject matter. On the other hand, the subject matter practitioner cannot possibly digest and learn in any one case how to use litigation rules and skills. In litigation there is no substitute for the experience of battling out issues in a courtroom before a judge or jury where the outcome really matters. Everyone is not made to function effectively in that environment. Every lawyer has not honed the skills needed to be persuasive while operating under the pressure of a dispute that can affect lives.

At Wolcott Rivers Gates, we know litigation. We have the experience to get you the results you deserve. Litigation – that is what we do.

When it matters most.

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