Question: What courts can Harmony Law practice in?
Answer: Mr. Hutchins is currently licensed and in good standing with the state bars of Wyoming, Colorado and Alaska. He can represent you in the state and federal courts of those states. However, he is not currently seeking clients in Alaska. Mr. Hutchins can also represent you in arbitration and administrative or agency matters.
Question: I need to file a lawsuit (or answer to a lawsuit) immediately. Can Harmony Law take my case?
Answer: That depends. If you need to file a lawsuit or if you are served with a summons and complaint, do not delay. Contact an attorney immediately because attorneys do need time to review the file, become apprised of the situation, interview the client and prepare the court documents. It cannot be done overnight.
Question: How long till we go to trial?
Answer: A common problem with most court systems today is that they are over capacity. There are a few courts that have relatively quick calendars, but those are the exceptions to the rule. If you file suit, please do not expect a quick resolution. It can take many months to go trial, and if your case is complex, it can even take years. With that said, there are times that the parties will seek a quick resolution through a negotiated settlement.
Question: I saw a news report which referred to a case getting dismissed. How does that happen?
Answer: When a case is dismissed it means that the judge closed the case. Court cases can be dismissed for a variety of reasons. There are two common reasons for dismissing cases. First, some cases have no basis in law. Here is an example of how this works. (First Example) John is driving along Harmony Road. Sue is driving on Timberline Road. The light turns red on Timberline at the intersection with Harmony Road, but Sue keeps driving through the intersection and hits John. John files a civil action against Sue for the damage to his car. This set of facts is appropriate for resolution by the court. It will not be dismissed for having no basis in law. (Second Example) John sees that Sue put a Nebraska Cornhuskers bumper sticker on her car. John hates the Nebraska Cornhuskers. He files a civil action against Sue. The court appropriately dismisses the lawsuit for having no basis in law because it is entirely okay to put such a bumper sticker on a car.
Another way that cases are dismissed is through a motion for summary judgment. In this type of dismissal, the plaintiff's lawsuit does have a basis in law. However, it is clear that the plaintiff does not have any facts to support the lawsuit. So, using the first example above, imagine that the traffic cameras showed that John drove through the red light and caused the accident, not Sue. At his deposition, John admits that he caused the accident by running through the red light and that Sue is not responsible at all. In this situation, the judge could dismiss the case because John has no evidence that he could present at trial that would provide a reason to win the case.