Starting your lawsuit in Federal Court

Many of my colleagues are adverse to starting lawsuits in the federal district courts.  They generally believe that the judges in federal court do not treat personal injury cases with great respect. The consensus among lawyers is that the federal court system has burdensome rules and deadlines that make it hard to be a lawyer in those courthouses.


I disagree with all of the above statements.  In fact, I believe that federal court is a place where an injured person is able to receive swift and fair justice.  It is a court where attorneys for defendants are not permitted to delay the litigation by using the usual tactics, including making assertions that they are unable to obtain medical records, that their witnesses (defendants) are not available to testify at depositions, etc..


Federal District Court judges are appointed for life by the President of the United States.  They relegate their pre-trial duties to Federal Magistrates, who are most often graduates of “Ivy League” schools.  These judges do not permit defense attorneys to play “politics” in the courtroom.  When a federal judge demands that “all parties must complete discovery, including depositions, exchange of all medical records, etc., by __________ date,” then all sides MUST finish by that date (unless they have a seriously good excuse!). If a lawyer does not comply with the “Discovery Order” of a magistrate, the ATTORNEY (not the client) may be subject to thousands of dollars in penalties.


Generally the entire process, from beginning of the lawsuit to trial, is one year.  This means that the plaintiff (assuming the facts are strong) receives justice in a timely manner.  Also, the federal court (specifically the Eastern District Federal Court) has mandated that the litigants must enter into arbitration if the case value is less than 150,000 dollars.  This is a fantastic way of resolving a case without the expense of a full trial.

Our office is equipped to handle personal injury cases in federal court and, in fact, Charles DeStefano enjoys the experience of being a lawyer in the Federal Court.  He received his license to practice law in the Southern District (Manhattan) and Eastern District (Brooklyn) in 1988.  Additionally, Charles DeStefano is licensed in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals (since 1989) and the United States Supreme Court (in Washington, since 1990).  You may have the right to start a lawsuit arising out of an automobile accident, slip and fall, construction accident, etc. in the federal court and Charles DeStefano is happy to discuss this option with you.

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