I enjoy legal shows on television as much as the next person, but they have really distorted the public’s perceptions and expectations regarding the law. I won’t even discuss the leeway that television superlawyers are given to badger witnesses into confessing. Nor will I discuss the complete disregard of real trial technique. What most clients are shocked to learn when first experiencing the judicial system is how long it actually takes to get to trial.
On TV the discovery process is quick, and usually occurs immediately before (or frequently during) trial. And, more often than not, it involves the lead attorney or his/her investigator uncovering extremely useful information at the 11<sup>th</sup> hour.
So to all my future Personal Injury or Employment clients, know this. If we meet, and there is a general agreement that I think you have a good case and you would like for me to handle it, we will be working together for at least the next year. Probably closer to two. I know in today’s fast food world that a year is an eternity, but expect to spend at least that long before we get to trial. And that’s only if a rarity occurs and there are no delays or continuances. While I wish the District had something similar to Virginia’s <em>Rocket Docket, </em>which gets litigants through the entire trial process in three or four months, unfortunately we do not.