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One of the first steps that a criminal attorney will take is to request the discovery, or evidence, that the District Attorney plans to use against you. The attorney will then review that discovery to determine the strengths and weaknesses in the evidence against you and the merits of the overall case, and will then determine the risks associated with various defense strategies. Once this analysis is completed, the criminal lawyer will then discuss all of this information with you to determine which next steps to take.
Though the majority of lawsuits are settled before ever reaching a state of trial, they can still be very complicated to litigate. This is particularly true in federal systems, where a federal court may be applying state law (e.g. the Erie doctrine, for example in the United States), or vice versa. It is also possible for one state to apply the law of another in cases where additionally it may not be clear which level (or location) of court actually has jurisdiction over the claim or personal jurisdiction over the defendant, or whether the plaintiff has standing to participate in a lawsuit. About 98 percent of civil cases in the United States federal courts are resolved without a trial. Domestic courts are also often called upon to apply foreign law, or to act upon foreign defendants, over whom they may not even have the ability to even enforce a judgment if the defendant's assets are theoretically outside their reach.