Lawyers, why do some cases drag for years without a conclusive decision? Does it help to get a favorable outcome or not? Does delay help one to get a favorable outcome for oneself?
It certainly can.
It depends upon the participants and which one(s) believe(s) the delay benefits him/her/them. I can tell you many reasons why divorce and family law cases can (and often do) drag on (not usually for years, but it does happen), and in no particular order:
- Clients who don’t pay their lawyers. When the lawyer is not paid, he/she does not work. When the lawyer(s) do(es) not work, the case does not progress.
- Attorneys who are terrified of going to trial. Most divorce cases settle. There are many reasons for this. One of the dirty little secret reasons many divorce cases settle is because many divorce lawyers don’t want the case to go to trial. Some reasons for this include: the lawyer is an incompetent trial lawyer; the lawyer is afraid the client won’t pay for all the work involved with preparing for and going to trial; and the lawyer has been lying to the client about what a “great case” the client has and is afraid that the lie will be exposed when the client has his/her head handed to him/her at trial.
- Opposing parties and/or lawyers who revel in delay. Delays are frustrating (maddening) and costly. Knowing this, some spouses and their attorneys cause and exacerbate delays.
- Attorneys and/or parties who just don’t care about the case. The case stagnates because getting the case resolved, whether by settlement or trial, just isn’t important to them.
- Courts that believe/hope that by dragging out the pretrial phase of the case the parties will eventually settle out of sheer exhaustion and impatience.
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277