In Orange County, California, at such time as the court sets a Trial date, it also sets a Mandatory Settlement Conference where the parties must specifically set forth their issues of contention and the amount of court time they believe will be necessary in order to have a trial on those issues. At that time, the parties are mandated to have provided all documents requested of each other and obtained all necessary evidence that they require in support of their various positions, for instance, their own appraisers and expert opinions, etc.
The Mandatory Settlement Conference generally occurs approximately two weeks to a month prior to Trial. At Castle & Monarch we often engage in voluntary settlement conferences set in either attorney’s office. We attempt to complete all discovery and compile all evidence necessary in support of our issues of contention, and we encourage our opposing counsels to do the same. Thereby, we are able to drastically cut down the amount of time necessary to resolve all issues and complete the divorce.
During this process, even if agreement on all issues cannot be reached, often some or a majority of the issues can be resolved at these voluntary settlement conferences, thus leaving only a few issues to be tried by the court. This is beneficial to both parties, since the fewer issues to be tried by the court, the shorter trial time estimate, and the quicker the matter can be set for Trial and resolved.
At Castle & Monarch our experience and success at Trial are immeasurable tools for negotiation and settlement. Further, our ability to assess the best case and worst case scenarios on issues allows us to determine the extent to which an issue should be settled or whether it should be set for Trial.
Castle & Monarch has the reputation of unparalleled success at Trial. Our success is a function of the trial skills of our attorneys who receive the highest competency, skill and ethical ratings by Martindale Hubbell, which ratings are the result of extensive surveys from not only trial attorneys, but more importantly, the Judges themselves who hear the cases. Very often, we succeed on issues that never should have been tried, but upon which the opposing party had taken an unreasonable position.
We stress compromise at Castle & Monarch, but when the opposing party takes an unreasonable position, we must simply set the matter for a decision by the court.
To sum it up, the best settlement tool is the knowledge that Castle & Monarch is able to competently and successfully try issues of contention.