Civil Litigation


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Being involved in a lawsuit, whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant, can be a serious anxiety-inducing scenario for any business owner. When you find yourself on the receiving end of a court summons, it is a terrible feeling. You get slapped with some papers by a process server, who sometimes even says “your served,” like you see on television. You may feel publicly accused, possibly humiliated, usually angry, and you might even have the desire to loudly explain to anyone within earshot that the case is “nonsense,” or you might use stronger language.

Even after you receive the Complaint and the initial shock wears off, you need to decide your next move, and that often involves uncertainty and stress. The law only gives you a certain amount of time to respond to a Complaint (20 days in D.C. Superior Court Civil Cases), and now that you have been served, you have a ticking clock. You might not know who to call or what to do or where to look for someone who knows the answers to all of the questions swimming around your head, let alone your worries about the cost of defending this lawsuit.

For plaintiffs, the experience is different, but not necessarily better. Often, plaintiffs have been frustrated in their efforts to resolve a dispute, without involving lawyers. Perhaps the would-be defendant stopped communicating, would not reciprocate efforts at a reasoned resolution, or could not perform obligations that they were supposed to, and the options have run out.

The point is that civil litigation, on either side, can be a painful, time-consuming, and often expensive process for all of the parties involved. It must be treated as a last resort and approached with a commonsense view towards cost-effectiveness. Too often the cost of litigation is near or exceeds the amount in controversy. Inevitably, this makes resolution of the case prior to the Court deciding it, far less likely. For that reason, it is extremely important to have an honest discussion about your budget in our first meeting.

In order to achieve your goal, I need to know what outcome you consider to be a “win,” and what resources you are willing to dedicate to reach that result. A “win” is not always a jury verdict or judgment in your favor. In fact, quite frequently, that turns out to be a “loss.” If you have spent more money on the litigation than you have sued for, even if you get a judgment, what have you really won? You have a piece of paper awarding you an amount of money that may or may not be collectible. A situation in which the loser pays the winner’s attorney’s fees is a rare exception to the general rule that each party pays their own lawyer.

Given the risk of the Pyrrhic victory (where a technical win actually turns out to be practical a loss), it is imperative that we decide at the outset exactly what financial resources you are able to dedicate to the matter and discuss what, if any settlement possibilities that raises.

Sometimes there is no choice but to move forward, with a case. It is my job to give you all of the information I can about the consequences and what the possible outcomes will mean for you and your business. I work very hard to put you in a position to make sound decisions based on the facts of your case, applicable law and the practical impact that litigation may have on your business.

Civil Litigation


Image
Being involved in a lawsuit, whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant, can be a serious anxiety-inducing scenario for any business owner. When you find yourself on the receiving end of a court summons, it is a terrible feeling. You get slapped with some papers by a process server, who sometimes even says “your served,” like you see on television. You may feel publicly accused, possibly humiliated, usually angry, and you might even have the desire to loudly explain to anyone within earshot that the case is “nonsense,” or you might use stronger language.

Even after you receive the Complaint and the initial shock wears off, you need to decide your next move, and that often involves uncertainty and stress. The law only gives you a certain amount of time to respond to a Complaint (20 days in D.C. Superior Court Civil Cases), and now that you have been served, you have a ticking clock. You might not know who to call or what to do or where to look for someone who knows the answers to all of the questions swimming around your head, let alone your worries about the cost of defending this lawsuit.

For plaintiffs, the experience is different, but not necessarily better. Often, plaintiffs have been frustrated in their efforts to resolve a dispute, without involving lawyers. Perhaps the would-be defendant stopped communicating, would not reciprocate efforts at a reasoned resolution, or could not perform obligations that they were supposed to, and the options have run out.

The point is that civil litigation, on either side, can be a painful, time-consuming, and often expensive process for all of the parties involved. It must be treated as a last resort and approached with a commonsense view towards cost-effectiveness. Too often the cost of litigation is near or exceeds the amount in controversy. Inevitably, this makes resolution of the case prior to the Court deciding it, far less likely. For that reason, it is extremely important to have an honest discussion about your budget in our first meeting.

In order to achieve your goal, I need to know what outcome you consider to be a “win,” and what resources you are willing to dedicate to reach that result. A “win” is not always a jury verdict or judgment in your favor. In fact, quite frequently, that turns out to be a “loss.” If you have spent more money on the litigation than you have sued for, even if you get a judgment, what have you really won? You have a piece of paper awarding you an amount of money that may or may not be collectible. A situation in which the loser pays the winner’s attorney’s fees is a rare exception to the general rule that each party pays their own lawyer.

Given the risk of the Pyrrhic victory (where a technical win actually turns out to be practical a loss), it is imperative that we decide at the outset exactly what financial resources you are able to dedicate to the matter and discuss what, if any settlement possibilities that raises.

Sometimes there is no choice but to move forward, with a case. It is my job to give you all of the information I can about the consequences and what the possible outcomes will mean for you and your business. I work very hard to put you in a position to make sound decisions based on the facts of your case, applicable law and the practical impact that litigation may have on your business.

  • “What makes Rich different is not just his legal brilliance and work ethic, but the fact that he is a certified authentic human being. We love talking to him and the folks at his office, which is not something we can say for most legal representation. He, and his staff, have answered our panicked calls about everything from violated leases to overdue invoices, and regardless of the situation, we feel better when we’re done talking. Rich and his team have taken considerable time to get to know us, as people and as a business, and we believe they honestly care about our success. Simply put, they’re good people doing good work. It would not be an exaggeration to say that we could not survive and operate without the help of this law office. If you are considering legal representation for anything in the District of Columbia, stop looking, pick the phone up, and get Rich on your team. We all sleep a great deal better because we did.”

    -Jeff Cubeta

  • “Rich and his team were wonderful to work with. They were on top of everything throughout the entire process, openly communicated with me as things progressed, and their understanding of the law was top notch. The successful resolution of the case (in my favor) was icing on the cake. I will absolutely use RJB Law in the future should I need representation again (but hopefully I won’t!)”

    -Tony Dundas-Lucca

  • “The service exceeded my expectations. I had an odd situation with a deed transfer in Washington DC. Richard Bianco and his team were able to get it through quickly. Very responsive, knowledgeable and easy to work with. The invoice came in exactly as first quoted even though extra work was done. Would highly recommend.”

    -Jennifer Katz

  • “Richard J. Bianco worked with us collaboratively on a contentious and complicated legal issue. The case dragged on for more than a year. During that time, Mr. Bianco provided his legal expertise to advise and inform us of our options at every step of the process until the matter was successfully resolved. Dealing with legal issues is stressful, so it also helped that Mr. Bianco is both professional and a nice person as well.”

    -Murray Jolivette

  • “I have had the pleasure of both working for and with Rich Bianco. To say that he’s an excellent attorney is probably unfair, he’s beyond that. His knowledge of the law, his methodical approach to matters is second to none and his courtroom manner is exceptional. He’s a strong advocate and definitely someone that you need on your team. Even when Rich is being coy about practice areas he says he doesn’t know, he does. He’s that good! Consequently, I have no hesitation in recommending Rich Bianco to my UK clients who need advice and assistance in the US.”

    -Stuart Southall

  • “Rich is one of the best in DC! While it’s never fun to need an attorney, it’s very calming to know you have an attorney who knows what he’s talking about, knows the process and is attentive to all the details.”

    -John Coplen

  • “100% recommend. Hands down. No hesitation or exceptions. Rich was recommended to me by my realtor (Vince Hurteau, Continental Properties, Ltd). He spent about an hour recently helping me understand my legal options in a complicated condominium real estate situation. Rich was frank, pragmatic, objective, and refreshingly forthright about the risks of potential courses of action. His flat fee structure seemed eminently reasonable, and he radiated competence and confidence. I would recommend him to anyone.”

    -Sarah Moore

  • “Rich is an amazingly talented attorney, and he is disciplined and hard-working. He is tenacious and will get the work done. In litigation, he is quick on his feet and very articulate. As a colleague, he is a pleasure to work with, and very reliable. I’ve recently asked him to take over one as first chair of my cases, in the field of real estate litigation. He handled it exactly as it needed to be done. The client was extremely happy, as he both got what he wanted and deserved, and he also felt heard and respected. Rich was easy to communicate with, and was quick to have a plan for every situation that came up. I can’t wait to have another case where I get to collaborate with Rich.”

    -Elena Iuga

contact our team


If you have a question about running, licensing, buying or selling a business; are involved in a dispute; need eviction or leasing services; or have been accused of a violation by the government, I can help.

If you want to hire me to represent your business or if you have additional questions about the process, schedule an initial case evaluation using our online scheduling tool, fill out the form on the right, or simply give me a call at the number listed below.

Address & Phone
1402 Meridian Place NW
Washington, DC 20010
202-461-2400


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contact our team


If you have a question about running, licensing, buying or selling a business; are involved in a dispute; need eviction or leasing services; or have been accused of a violation by the government, I can help.

If you want to hire me to represent your business or if you have additional questions about the process, schedule an initial case evaluation using our online scheduling tool, fill out the form below, or simply give me a call at the number listed below.

Address & Phone
1402 Meridian Place NW
Washington, DC 20010
202-461-2400


reCAPTCHA is required.