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  • Writer's picturePhil Griffis

Wondering If You Should Settle or Take Your Civil Lawsuit to Trial?

One of the questions I’m often asked is “Do you think my case will have to go to court?”   In reality there is no way to answer the question.  Every case is different.  And what most people forget is that the client (not the lawyer) makes the decision whether to settle the case or take her chances with a judge or jury.

Statistics kept by the Texas Office of Court Administration, however, provide a great deal of information about what usually happens to civil lawsuits.  For instance, in 2014, Texas district courts disposed of a little over 200,000 civil cases.  Of those, only 0.5% (1 in 200) were decided by a jury.  Another 15% were decided by a trial to a judge, without a jury.  Altogether, only 16% of the cases were decided by a trial with a judge or jury.  The rest were ended by a settlement, dismissal or default judgment.

The bottom line is that most cases don’t go to trial, but that doesn’t mean yours won’t.  Your lawyer’s job will be to put you in a position of strength to decide whether to settle or go to trial, and to help you achieve the best possible outcome, whatever decision you make.


Phil Griffis obtained his first jury verdict in 1990, when he convinced a jury that a customer’s fall at his client’s store did not cause the customer’s aspiration pneumonia and stroke. In the years since he has continued to win in courtrooms across the State of Texas.

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