{{ content }}{{ content }}{{ content }}{{ content }}{{ content }} F.A.Q. – Stevens & Kuss S.C.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Questions potential clients ask us.
  • 1. What is our chance of success if we hire your law firm?
    David Bassler11-02-2016


    Nearly all of our cases are taken on a contingency fee basis.  Meaning, we do not get paid unless we collect money.  For this reason, we only take cases that we believe have a very good chance of success.  Ninety-five percent of our clients receive compensation.

  • 2. How long does the litigation process take?
    David Bassler11-02-2016

    Answer:  Cases that are filed in Milwaukee county and Waukesha county are usually resolved in eight to nine months.  Cases filed in Washington County & Ozaukee County often take a year and a half to resolve.  Cases filed in Kenosha, Racine and other counties typically are resolved in less than a year.



  • 3. What will our invovlement in the litigation be?
    David Bassler11-02-2016

    Answer:  The time requirement of clients is usually very minimal.  Some written questions will need to be answered by the client.  A deposition may be required, which can take an hour or two of the client’s time.  Most courts order mediation, which usually takes two or three hours.  The client’s total time involvement in a lawsuit is usually less than ten hours if the case doesn’t go to trial.

  • 4. What percentage of cases go to trial?
    David Bassler11-02-2016

    Answer:  Since real estate cases are more difficult to settle because the defendants usually don’t have insurance, a higher percentage of cases end up in trial.  Even so, less than one in ten cases end up going to trial.

  • 5. How much money can I expect to pay in costs on a contingency fee basis?
    David Bassler11-02-2016

    Answer:  Costs paid by the client in the average case runs around $1,000.00.  The filing fee is $295.50, deposition costs are often $300/$400, an expert report can be $300/$400, and mediation costs usually run around $300.

  • 6. How are settlements determined?
    David Bassler11-02-2016

    Answer:  In deciding whether to settle the case, the total damages must be considered.  Then each party must evaluate his or her chance of winning.  The final factor that must be considered is the collectability of the defendant.  The defendant's financial situation is certainly a factor, especially if he or she may file bankruptcy.  Once these factors are analyzed, the real question for the plaintiff is, how much money will he or she take to avoid the risk of going to trial and possibly ending up with nothing? That is the target settlement amount.

  • 7. If a person files a lawsuit, can they get stuck paying the other side’s attorney’s fees?
    David Bassler11-02-2016

    Answer: Absent frivolous lawsuits, the only risk to the party filing a lawsuits that they may have to pay the other side’s costs if they lose the case. If they lose, they could possibly be responsible for $1,000-$2,000 of the other side’s costs.

  • 8. How long do jury trials take?
    David Bassler11-02-2016

    Answer:  The average jury trial takes two to three days, rarely going less than two days or more than three days.

  • 9. What can I do to prove my case?
    David Bassler11-02-2016

    Answer:  Usually the most important evidence is photographs.  It is important to take good clear photographs showing the problem at issue.  Talking to neighbors, tenants and repairmen can also help with the case.  Having an expert witness is also very important.

  • 11. What should I do if the defendant tries to contact me directly?
    David Bassler11-02-2016

    Answer:  If the defendant attempts to contact you directly, you should inform the defendant that you are represented by counsel and direct the defendant to contact your attorney and to cease having any further contact with you.

  • 10. Is there anything I should be concerned about after I file a lawsuit?
    David Bassler11-02-2016

    Answer:  After a defendant is served in a real estate lawsuit, the first thing they often do is drive by the house to look at the house especially for maintenance issues.  Gutters should be clean, downspout extensions hooked up, and the grade around the perimeter of the house should be well maintained.  You can also expect the defendant to contact neighbors or other potential witnesses in the area.

  • 12. What should I do if the Defendent Wants to Examine My House?
    David Bassler04-03-2016

    Often clients are required to make their home available for inspections but, this should be coordinated though our office.