Preparing the Case

Q:What is a mock trial and why do you have one?

A: A mock trial is a learning exercise for a trial team in which a jury hears the evidence of a case. The trial team learns about the jury’s attitudes, preferences and opinions through this process, and can then determine the best way to present that case to the actual jury that will hear the evidence when it goes to trial.

Q:Do you have a mock trial for each case?

A: No, not for every case. Since we have taken many different types of cases to trial, we generally know what works and what doesn’t. However, there are more unusual cases that require investigation into how to best present it at trial.

Q:Who pays for it?

A: Johnson Law Group pays all expenses required to get the case ready for trial, and is only reimbursed if there is a recovery in the case. So, if there is a recovery, the client will reimburse Johnson Law Group for the mock trial out of that recovery.

Q:Why do I have to be deposed and what is involved?

A: In most cases, the plaintiff can expect to have his or her deposition taken. This simply means that the attorney(s) representing the parties sued in your lawsuit will have the opportunity to ask you questions under oath before the case goes to trial. Johnson Law Group attorneys make sure that our clients are fully prepared and familiar with the process before it begins. An attorney will be with you for your entire deposition to ensure that the deposition is conducted fairly and properly.

Q: What are interrogatories and why do I need to complete them?

A: Interrogatories are usually the first discovery tool used in a case. They are questions presented by one side to the other which must be answered under oath within a time period specified by the court’s procedural rules. Complete and accurate answers are very important in response to any discovery question, and the attorneys, paralegals and legal assistants at Johnson Law Group will work with you to make sure everything is handled properly.

Q: Why do I have to supplement my answers to interrogatories?

A: No later than thirty days prior to the start of trial, all parties have the opportunity to change and/or amend their answers to any and all discovery. This opportunity is vitally important to your case as your discovery response must be complete and accurate. Interrogatory answers are your testimony and must be consistent with your deposition testimony and other discovery responses you and/or your witnesses have given in your case.

Q: What is an IME and why do I have to have one?

A: An independent medical examination (IME) is a medical examination by an independent doctor intended to give an unbiased medical picture of the plaintiff. In some cases, if there is more than one defendant or if special circumstances exist, more than one IME may be required.

Q: Who pays for an IME?

A: The party requesting the examination, which is almost always the defendant. If the plaintiff is asked to be responsible for this expense, it will be handled like all the other legal costs on the case? Johnson Law Group will pay all expenses required to get the case ready for trial, and will only be reimbursed if there is a recovery in the client’s case. So, if there is recovery, the client reimburses Johnson Law Group for this expense out of that recovery.

Q: What is an expert witness and how much do they cost?

A: An expert witness is an individual who has some specialized knowledge in a specific area that the common person does not have. In most of the cases handled by Johnson Law Group, expert testimony is required by law. Like most people, experts charge for their time, and they do so by the hour. However, like all other legal costs, Johnson Law Group advances these expenses and you do not reimburse Johnson Law Group until and unless a recovery is made in your case.

Q:Why should I speak to a legal assistant?

A:The legal assistants at Johnson Law Group will more often be available to discuss your case with you than your attorney. They are educated and trained to assist the attorney, and they play a vital role in the development of our files. You should work with the legal assistants because they are speaking with you at the direction of the attorney they work for.

Q: What does a legal assistant do?

A: Legal assistants do everything they can to assist the attorney in getting the case ready for trial and presenting the case to the court or jury at trial. Whether it is gathering information from the client, communicating with your doctors, or simply reviewing the file, everything they do is extremely important in the effort to achieve our common goal, to be prepared to win each and every case at the courthouse.

Q:What does a lawclerk do?

A: Johnson Law Group hires law students from law schools throughout the state to assist the attorneys in the preparation of the cases. Depending on how much law school they have completed, law students can be very helpful in the preparation of a case. What is the difference between a legal assistant and a paralegal? According to the American Bar Association and the State Bar of Texas, the terms “paralegal” and “legal assistant” are interchangeable (in the same way that “attorney” and “lawyer” are interchangeable). Under the supervision of an attorney, a qualified legal assistant can handle almost every task in the preparation of your case except give legal advice and represent you in court. Most legal assistants have advanced education and training and continually update their knowledge and skills. A legal assistant works “hand in hand” with the attorney toward successful resolution of your case.