Joseph S. Brockington provides legal counsel to a broad spectrum of businesses and individuals. He has over 30 years’ experience in many types of disputes, including personal injury, probate, real estate, business, and construction litigation.
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The most common types of personal injury claims are vehicular accidents, injuries at work, and falls. The term personal injury also incorporates medical and dental injuries (which lead to numerous medical negligence claims every year).
The injured party may be entitled to monetary compensation through a settlement or a judgment. Attorneys often represent clients on a contingent fee basis, in which the attorney’s fee is a percentage of the plaintiff’s eventual compensation, payable when the case is resolved, with no fee unless the case is successful.
- To see that the wishes of the maker of the will are carried out
- To avoid dispute among family members and other beneficiaries
- To deal with tax issues in the manner most favorable relative to taxation
Probating the estate of a deceased includes identification of the assets of the deceased, and also distribution of the property to the beneficiaries named in the will, or, when there is no valid will, according to the applicable law.
- Undue influence over and/or lack of capacity by the person making the will or other testamentary document
- Dispute over who should serve as as the personal representative, the natural or corporate person who is appointed by the probate court to administer the estate.
- Failure of the personal representative or other person with responsibilities to carry out those responsibilities, or breach of fiduciary duty by the person.
- Differences of opinion over guardianships and conservatorships
Contract litigation is the pursuit in court of legal remedies when contracts are broken or otherwise become subject to dispute. The process of contract litigation requires carefully reviewing the contract in dispute, as well as considering the circumstances and the applicable law. Sometimes, the threat of litigation is enough to get parties to agree to resolve their differences outside of court.
Real estate disputes can involve purchase and sale contracts, partnership disputes, claims involving breach of fiduciary duty, commercial leases, property insurance, design and construction defects, and boundary disputes.
Disputes can be resolved by means other than extended litigation; e.g., arbitration, mediation, or Fast Track Jury Trials. Such procedures, which are usually less costly and more expeditious than litigation, are increasingly being used in many types of disputes that would likely otherwise involve court litigation.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, many people became increasingly concerned that the traditional method of resolving legal disputes in the United States, through conventional litigation, had become too expensive, too slow, and too cumbersome for many civil lawsuits. This concern led to the growing use of ways other than litigation to resolve disputes. These other methods are commonly known collectively as alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
As of the early 2000s, ADR techniques were being used more and more, as parties and lawyers and courts realized that these techniques could often help them resolve legal disputes quickly and cheaply and more privately than could conventional litigation. Moreover, many people preferred ADR approaches because they saw these methods as being more creative and more focused on problem solving than litigation, which has always been based on an adversarial model. The term alternative dispute resolution is to some degree a misnomer. In reality, fewer than 5 percent of all lawsuits filed go to trial; the other 95 percent are settled or otherwise concluded before trial. One might thus, think of litigation as the alternative and ADR as the norm. The term alternative dispute resolution has become such a well-accepted shorthand for the vast array of nonlitigation processes that its continued use seems assured.
Although certain ADR techniques are well established and frequently used—for example, mediation and arbitration—alternative dispute resolution has no fixed definition. The term alternative dispute resolution includes a wide range of processes, many with little in common except that each is an alternative to full-blown litigation. Litigants, lawyers, and judges are constantly adapting existing ADR processes or devising new ones to meet the unique needs of their legal disputes. The definition of alternative dispute resolution is constantly expanding to include new techniques.
ADR techniques have not been created to undercut the traditional U.S. court system. State and federal courts in South Carolina have embraced ADR as options that should be available to parties to resolve their disputes.
Of the many ways to resolve a legal dispute other than formal litigation, mediation, arbitration, and Fast Track Jury Trial (also known as “Summary Jury Trial”) are the most common.