“Words cannot express the thankfulness and appreciation we feel for you and your entire team. Your tireless work, determination, and dedication to our case cannot be explained in words. For 5 years we waited to hear the words “not guilty” because the system kept pushing back our case. We felt like this would never be over. You fought until the very last minute in our case and won. Thank God for His goodness and you for your expertise and genius ability to bring out the truth. It doesn’t feel real and will take a while to sink in, but we are free. Walking out of the courthouse with no obligation to return was the best feeling in the entire world. Thank you and may God continue to bless you and your cases. You will always hold a special place in our hearts.”
“To Mark and your Team,
By the Grace of God we set here with no trial to attend. I want to thank you and share my appreciation from both my Bride, my family, and myself. At the moment, words cannot fully describe how I feel right now. Except maybe this way, while processing all this this morning and last night, I felt as though I had practiced for the biggest game of my life and didn't get to play, combined with the weakness you have after going through a major adrenaline rush.
May the blessings of God be upon you all for caring about my son in every way you have for him, ourselves, and all the effort you gave on our behalf."
“Thank you thank you thank you! I’ve been praying so hard for God to come and work. Without your help this would not have been possible I just thank you so so much!!”
- Mother of client
“Good morning Mark. Just wanted to thank you for wishing me happy anniversary. We share somewhat of an anniversary with you because four years ago today is when I got a call from you saying my case was over. I thank you and your team for what you did for me and I consider you a true friend. Thank you again and may God Bless.”
“I truly cannot express my appreciation for all you did for my children and I. I would like to drop by sometime and just say thank you in person if that would be ok. Considering how much I know you like it when people don’t make an appointment. I will schedule a quick window of time when you are not saving the world. Again, I just cannot thank you enough!”
Client found Not Guility.
“You are now part of my entire family. You saved my life and as you said you would, you fought for me like I was your brother. You never backed down and you prayed before each court hearing and I thought that was beautiful. Thank you for giving me back to my family and my life back to me. ”
Client whose case was dismissed day before trial looking at 5 to life in prison.
“Thank you so much. For 2 ½ years I had to wonder if I was going to spend 25 years to life in prison with no parole. You told me you would fight for me like I was your brother and you did all the way to and through jury trial. You lifted the burden, won the case and gave me my life back. Thank you. Thanks to your whole team, there is none better.”
“I cannot believe it. 2 years of waiting for my trial date and 2 weeks before trial the case is dismissed. Thankyou. Thank you. Thank you. I have my life back.”
“Mark and everyone on the team treated me like family. They fought tooth and nail just like they said they would. I wouldn’t want anyone else fighting for me or my family.”
Client charged with Indecency with a Child and Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child. “Not Guilty” on Indecency after 7 day trial. Aggravated case was dismissed after the trial.
“I was charged with the worst crime I could think of. Never in a million years did I think I would find myself in a position to defend my innocence. I did not know where to turn. My parents asked around and every single person they talked to said Mark Griffith is the one you need. We hired Griffith & Associates and I owe my life to them. We had a 7 day jury trial and the jury took 20 minutes to find me not guilty. I can breath again. Thank you for fighting for me like I was your own son."
“I cannot begin to thank you for taking my case and doing what you do best, winning. I feel like a million pounds have been lifted off my shoulders and that I can finally stop putting my life on hold and move forward.
I will definitely get in touch with you when the time comes for expungement.
Thank you again for everything!!!"
Client who was charged with Burglary of Habitation, case was no-billed
“I did not know who to hire. I asked several people and they said to hire Mark Griffith. My ex said I pushed her and she fell and got a cut over her eye that needed stitches. We are in a custody battle over my daughter. She fell and lied to the police. Mark and his team prepared for trial like it was for one of their family members. This case was in Dallas. During trial I saw passion for my innocence and so did the jury. I could have spent a year in jail based on this lie and lost my daughter but the jury found my not guilty. I recommend this firm for anybody that needs an attorney who wins and cares."
"What a Team!!"
Once I found myself with an “elephant” on my chest, sucking the life out of me and by extension my whole family. To say that when there are false accusations against you and you are faced with potentially losing your freedom, in a matter of decisions having made for you by other is an understatement when I call it the “elephant,”
But there is a “team” comprised of good people, very good people!! People who not only have the experience and expertise to see through the falsehoods of others, but also the love and compassion needed to endure such violation against one’s character.
Without “one single” witness to my defense, Mark Griffith and Associates carried me and my family on their shoulders for three and one half years and through two trials to what culminated in a “Not Guilty” verdict.
When I mention a “team” I mean a group of caring individuals who vested their time and lives completely into mine in such a manner in which there are no words to describe it.
Mark Griffith is one of the most intelligent and passionate men I have ever met in my life. He believed in me, he probed every angle in my life with passion and love and prayed for me. Mark endured my pain when he saw my pain and he counseled me with such integrity like I’ve never experienced before. Thank you Mark!! My entire family thanks you!!
Courtney Stamper is a giant of knowledge and support for he also demonstrated such compassion and integrity towards me. He never faltered and he always met me with human compassion before anything else ever started. What a team, what a group of “Giants” to have on your side.
Chad A. Hughes support towards me was immeasurable and also is appreciated. His presence was very much a key in our success.
Jamie Ermatinger at ERMATINGER Private Investigations. LLC along with Griffith and Associates conducted such an extensive and exhaustive investigation to get to the “root” of the falsehoods and expose the “lies” in court. I thank you Jamie for such dedication, such care and compassion and for your continued trust in my character.
The “elephant” is gone now and it may be moving on to another unsuspecting good person out there. That’s what it does. It’s the State of Texas vs. (______) an innocent citizen. It’s the most powerful and intimidating elephant I have ever had to face. But, “Thank God there’s also Mark Griffith and Associates to defend the “Truth” and to hopefully tame the elephant one innocent souls at a time.
Thank you all!! And all your support team at the office in the background. I am learning again to breath the air and what a privilege it is.
Client found Not Guilty of 25-life criminal allegation.
“Mark, Thank you, thank you, thank you. You were the warrior I needed in the worst of situations. 58-years old and if the jury believed the false accusation of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child I would have served the rest of my life in prison. When we first met I said I needed an attorney with passion and I got that and more. I have never seen someone so effective in a courtroom, never. If there is a better trial lawyer in the world I would like to meet him. Courtney Stamper, Chad Hughes and your staff were right with me for my 3 ½ year ordeal. I woke up every day wondering if I was going to die in prison. You found the truth, exposed the truth and the jury set me free. I love you for saving my life and your staff is the best anywhere. Anybody in the trouble that I was in that hires another law firm is a fool."
Client looking at dying in prison if he lost his case.
“Just a small note to say a Huge thanks to you all being by my side for the past 20 months. If it were not for you all I don’t know I would have made it through this. I hope you enjoy the cookies."
From a client who had both a 2nd degree sex case dismissed and a 1st degree sex case dismissed.
“After being charged with a false drug charge, knowing I needed the best of the best, I hired Griffith and associates. This law office went above and beyond for my case, and I am very grateful and extremely happy with the outcome of my case. Mark and the other 2 attorneys Courtney and Chad know the law and they know it well. BEST decision I ever made was to hire them to handle the case. I will refer this Law Office to anyone needing a GREAT attorney, one who wants a great defense team on their side.Thank you Mark, Courtney, and Chad for all of the hard work you did on my case. You guys are #1 in my book!!!!"
“I would like to thank Mark Griffith and Associates for the wonderful job they did representing me. I feel like I have my life back. Case dropped, rejected, and done."
Client charged with Indecency with a Child
“What a wonderful team to work with! I had a serious problem( that I ...created for myself) back in 2014 and Chad, Courtney, and Mark ensured I remained a free citizen. I can't thank them enough, and if you find yourself in a bind, I'd call them asap!!"
“I don’t even know how to say thank you for the news you delivered to my daddy today. What a birthday present to him!!! God is so faithful and I am so glad that He gave us YOU to help us through this journey. You and your team have been AMAZING and thank you for believing in my Daddy."
“Wow Friend,I been seeing you past by try to stop you to see how I can help you ,cause you helped me so much ,with the guy that was living in that barn ,I can't thank you enough for reaching out in the community,that is something I should have advertized,In the long run ,I got punished for that ,but thank God Mark Griffith ,knew my heart ,and knew I was telling the truth ,and help me get back in to do what the Lord has called me to do ,I didn't destroy my life ,I went in the jail innocent and learned,and think how to help other people as well too ,Thank you for All you and the other people done to help me its been Good ,next time you go to that church invite me Ill like to go with you,Love you brother.”
Former client, Minister
“I've been thinking alot about my past and the amazing role some people have played in my growth, both in maturation, as well as spiritually, and 1 person comes to mind, who has taught more about life, in as few words as anyone has in my life. Thank you Mark Griffith for the lessons I’ve learned from you on a couple of professional occasions. Your small innadvertant contribution to my growth in life has enabled me to be where I am today, both professionally and as a man. You're a great man and role model for many, and my prayer for you is a long life in the profession that I know you hold dear to your heart and soul. May you continue to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Fight on brother!”
Past client of Griffith & Associates
“Brag alert!: Mr. Griffith represented my daughter who was charged with DWI. He and his team treated her with respect and allowed her to have a voice in a case where she felt wrongly accused. Mr. Griffith was vigilant when developing the case, aggressive when necessary, and was effective when pointing out the many short-comings and holes in the State's case. As a witness, I appreciated his compassion. In the end, the jury agreed with his persuasive presentation. I would trust him with my family again, if necessary. Thank you, Mark for your dedication. Keep up the good fight, brother.”
Mother of client, her daughter, found not guilty by jury of DWI.
“Hi thank you so very much for all of your time and effort into my case! Once again I can't thank you enough for everything you did for me. Maria Huffman called me after court and congratulated me on getting my early termination granted! You helped me feel so much more confident in myself and that I was doing the right thing! You are the absolute BEST! Thank you”
“I can’t believe it. Blood test over .20 in a DWI case. I was sure there was no chance. Thank God I hired you all. You got all of my evidence thrown out at a suppression hearing and my case dismissed. You saved me, thanks is not enough”
“Mark you are a remarkable person that I have never known in my life you Chad Courtney are truly God's anointed. May he bless you guys always. You and your legal team has really changed my life. Thanks guy's."
Client who got a not guilty in a blood test DWI case.
“When my husband and I were faced with a difficult situation we asked for help in finding the best attorney for our son. Your name came up many times. You and your team sat us all down and were very honest with what we would be facing. Our son knew he had done wrong and was more than willing to do what it took to make it right. The problem was we felt like HE was not treated right by the law. To be honest, the settlements the DA was trying to make were laughable. We kept holding out for a “decent” outcome.
After a long wait, and only a few weeks before our trial was to start, you gave us a call that changed our son’s life again…for the better. The DA had dropped all charges against him! It was extremely emotional for all of us. For him, being a child that doesn’t have to live with a record, enables him many more endeavors and success in his life. For us as parents, we get to watch him succeed in whatever he chooses to do without a small mistake he made as a teenager held over his head.
From day one you have guided us through this process with the experience and knowledge of a seasoned, successful attorney. You have an amazing team that you should be proud of. We are extremely grateful to everyone for being so aggressive in this case. It was a long hard fight but the outcome was well worth it.
One last thing. I believe the first words you said to us were, “You want the best attorney for your son don’t you”? And the last words you said (after “I never want to see him again”) was “You told me you wanted the best attorney didn’t you”? You came full circle.
Client who was looking at a DWI trial case dismissed
“Last but not least, I want to thank you for handling my case. But far beyond that I want you to know what a huge role you played in the positive changes that have and are continuing to occur in my life. You looked me straight in the eye and told me "you are through with drinking". At the time, I hadn't considered it and it sunk in deeply. You suggested I go to AA and do 90 meetings in 90 days; this was something i did reluctantly but found what i needed to start this journey. There i got God back in my life and found I wasn't alone. Through working the steps, i was able to clean off many childhood traumas that plagued my existence. I have now been sober and clean for 326 days and I no longer have to live a double life or keep secrets from my family.
Thank you profoundly”
“Thank you, thank you, thank you. You saved me and you saved my family. Thank you is not enough but it is all I have to give.”
Client charged with 3rd degree felony, case dismissed prior to trial that was set.
“This is very good news! Thank you all so much. You ALL are truly a blessing to your clients.”
I don't even have the words to explain how much I appreciate you and your team, you saved my life, enabled me to be a part of my daughter's life and start over, now with an amazing woman and 2 sons as well, you sir are heaven sent in my eyes!
Client charged with Assault/ case dismissed day of trial.
I can not thank the whole team enough for all of the hard work on my case. Yall listened and never judged when my life was on the line. Even prior to arrest the whole team was caring to my case. I was looked at as a dad and husband not just a number or even in others eyes a criminal/felon. I am glad I got referred to you and will refer anyone that I can to your firm. Thank you for keeping my wife and I up to date on everything and always responding back to us quickly even over the smallest things we had.
A heart filled thank you again to everyone on the team for all that was done for my freedom and my family.
Client charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child (Case dismissed prior to trial)
Thank you. Thank you. All rumors I heard about lawyers are not true. You treated me like I mattered when I needed it the most. My job, my freedom and all of that was on the line and all three of you acted like that meant something to you. You explained everything to me so I could understand and then you fought, and fought. I did not know what a “suppression hearing” was and you clearly explained it to me. I sat during that hearing and watched all three of you work and realized that you walk the walk. We won the suppression hearing and the case was dismissed. The only experience I have had with lawyers was with you three and I have nothing but great things to say about my experience. Thanks for fighting for me like I mattered.
Client charged with DWI 1st offense whose case was dismissed after successful suppression hearing.
Thanks is not enough, not nearly enough. You guys treated me like I mattered, always. I knew I mattered to you all. Boy did you show it during trial. You saved my life and my reputation. I was referred to you and I promise you that I have already thanked that person, best decision I have ever made. I felt like you were fighting for your brother during trial, you were fighting for me. Thank you for showing the truth and giving me my life back.
Client who was found “not guilty” by a jury in 3 minutes after trial.
I felt the need to give you an update. I don't know if this communication is appropriate or not, but I wanted you to know- He is AWESOME! He goes to the gym to work out every day and is taking his AA meetings/responsibilities very seriously. He has been made the chairperson for this month and is actually going to become a sponsor. He has been going to the Homeward Bound meetings and helping others there as well as the VA hospital once a month. He attends his peer support group meetings every Monday and is now on the call in list for drug testing. His probation officer seems to have developed some confidence in him and decided he doesn't have to come in 3 times a week. He is also considering going to college to work on becoming a counselor if at all possible. I wanted to tell you once again how thankful I am to you and Mark for helping us get through this whole ordeal. You will never know how grateful I am to have my son back. He actually thanked me a couple of months ago for "saving his life".
Thank you again for everything.
"Mark, I only know one way to show you all how much I appreciate you all representing me. I want to invite you and your family to our duck club for a hunt. No cost to you. Lodging and hunts on me. We can discuss open dates and pick one that will work for you. Thank you!!!!"
Avid Hunter who was charged with an two offenses that would have taken away his gun rights. Both cases dismissed after suppression hearing. 2014
"Hi Courtney S., I truly would like to thank you. Cause, of your help the request was granted. I will pick up the paperwork Monday. As well drop off a copy of it. My gratitude for you is unexplainable. Thank you"
I was charged with a drug offense. I first thought I would represent myself and when I met with the prosecutor he informed me that I should just pay the fine because if I didn’t I had better learn all the law in a criminal case for a trial. I then called Griffith & Associates and hired them. They certainly know the law. The case was set for trial and the prosecutor said he “was not going to dismiss”. The whole team of attorneys showed up for my trial and the prosecutor told Mr. Griffith that I had just a few more minutes before the trial started and my client needed to plead. Mr. Griffith told the prosecutor who had been so rude to me “we did not come here to plead, we came here for a jury trial.” Just before the trial was to start the State of Texas dismissed all charges, with prejudice. This means I can expunge my record. I could not have been in better hands. Thank you to the team.
“Griffith & Associates attorneys worked very thoroughly on my case, and proved to be extremely successful in getting it dismissed. They are an excellent team and I would highly recommend them to anyone in need.”
“I had my case in the hands of the Griffith & Associates team. They kept me informed at all times. I was nervous about going to trial, they informed me that there are never any guarantees at a jury trial but that this was a good case for trial. I agreed. They always investigated every aspect of my case, without relying on what the State said the evidence was. I was always kept in the loop regarding the trial strategy and I felt comfortable with it. 5 days before trial was to start in my case the State of Texas dismissed my case, it is over, no conviction. They told me there are no guarantees, ever, in a criminal case. I now know that they can make one guarantee…..they never, ever stop fighting for me, never. I would recommend this firm to anybody needing a team of great advocates and trial lawyers.”
Client charged with Class A DWI, Case dismissed 5 days before trial was to begin.
“All was lost and then I was referred to Griffith & Associates. They walked me through and kept me informed every step of the way. They saved my life and they saved my freedom. I am so incredibly happy I took that recommendation and hired them.”
"OMG OMG OMG! You guys rock Ellis County Criminal Defense Team. You have helped bring joy to my heart and I cannot thank you enough. I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders! Please pass this on to Mark and your Awesome Staff!!!! A mothers heart is healed. God Bless All of you!!!!!"
“After about a year of my attorneys fighting with the prosecutor on my case the prosecutor finally dismissed the case. Mark Griffith and Courtney Stamper treated me like a person, not a file. They fought every step of the way. I am very thankful to this great Law Firm. I would recommend them to anybody needing the best representation. I have great pride and respect with how hard they fought and the result they obtained for me. I have my life back.”
"Thank you in not adequate for what you have done for me. It was a God deal that I received 4 referrals and He sent me to your office last. I chose you and you have saved my life and criminal history. “One day at a Time” I have a year and 7 months sobriety. No conviction, and you helped me get dry and sober. My gratitude to you is overwhelming, thank you again. You saved and changed my life."
"It was a long and rough road we traveled together, but we made it with your perseverance and faith. I would like to take this moment to thank you and Courtney and your whole team again for helping me restore my life. I would be in a tragic situation without you, Courtney and your team defending me. I am sending you a packet of Lifesavers, and I think it is appropriate because the name describes it best for you, Courtney and the Team. Thank you for giving me life back."
Client charged with 3rd Degree Felony, case tried and jury found client “Not Guilty’ in 5 minutes.
“Although I do not think any words in the English dictionary suffice when trying to express the top of the line expertise one will receive upon hiring Griffith & Associates, I will give it my all. My contentment with Griffith & Associates exudes satisfaction, pure bliss, redemption and justice! As a nursing student and less than 6 months away from graduation, I was certain that a recent DWI charge would ruin my soon to be profession. I knew I needed to hire THE BEST to handle my DWI case. I succeeded upon hiring Griffith & Associates. Within minutes of my initial consultation I had no doubt that Mark & Team equaled the one and only team for me. The combination of their immense knowledge, profound professionalism, honesty and aggressive tactics instilled confidence like never before. I like to secretly refer to them as my “pit bulls.”(The secret is out now, Mark & Team!!) They exemplify immaculate mastery of the "bite" to back up their "bark." This duo of go-getters are active, effective, energizing, intense, magnetic, powerful, productive and most importantly vital! Griffith & Associates took were concerned with my well-being before I hired them up until my case was dismissed. I could not have been in better hands. In every aspect this team depicts perfection. The communication between office and client was always prompt, punctual and polite. And how could I forget Mrs. Phillips, the secretary/office manager. She demonstrates superior, top-notch customer service. She is always in tune with what is happening, friendly, concerned and is beyond efficient. I recommend Griffith & Associates to anyone with any criminal case with certainty that they will receive the finest service. There is no other attorney who even slightly compares to the unparalleled, unsurpassed, outstanding and premium representation Griffith & Associates offers. I am beyond pleased. They have made my life complete again. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!!!”
“I would have lost everything if Mark and his team had not cared as much as they did. Mark fought for me and never quit fighting. We had one hearing in my case and then the prosecutor dismissed all the charges. Mark saved me.”
Client who had Assault/Family Violence case dismissed.
“We have never been more thankful for anything in our life than we are for Mark and his team. When we first starting looking for an attorney to represent our family our expectations were very high! We knew we needed the best and from the moment we met Mark we were confident he could get the job done. We found out very soon the passion with which Mark would fight. Mark and his team have fought for our family as if we were their own. They have answered our many questions with care and concern. Never have we felt they were just doing a job but always standing up for what was right. When our case was moved to a county 5 hours away the passion and desire to do what was right didn’t change. It really is impossible to put into a few short sentences how much we appreciate what Mark’s team has done for us.”
Family Law client in Howard County, Texas case
“My father-in-law is an attorney. I told him about my charge and he immediately recommended that I hire Mark Griffith. I could not be happier that I took his advice. Mark and his team were prepared, caring and, to me, most importantly excellent in the courtroom. I was charged with Theft and a conviction would have ruined my business. Mark took my case to trial and fought for me like no other. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty. He saved my freedom and he saved by job. I would recommend Mark and his firm to anybody in any type of criminal behavior. You will not find better, more passionate representation anywhere.”
Client charged with theft. Jury Trial. Verdict “Not Guilty”
"I was facing a serious charge. Mark and his team proved my innocence and stood by me. They are a powerful dynamic duo and fought for my legal rights! I am forever grateful to both Mark and his team for their help and support, and I highly recommend their legal representation. They know, like no other attorneys I have ever seen, how to talk to a jury."
"Hallelujah!!!!!!!! Praise the Lord! And, praises to you and your team for the awesome job you have done for me."
Client who had DWI 2nd case dismissed.
"I was pulled over for DWI and arrested. I took the breath test and I was sure that I was going to be convicted. I took the references of many people and hired Griffith & Associates to represent me in this matter. What a wonderful team. I always new what was going on and then, to my surprise, my case gets dismissed at the first appearance because my team, Griffith & Associates, had informed the prosecutor that there was no reasonable suspicion to have even come into contact with me. My case was dismissed, done, over, with no conviction. This is a criminal defense firm I would refer to anyone, anytime, for any case. Thank you all so much."
DWI client whose case was dismissed with breath test results well over legal limit.
"You saved me. My previous lawyer told me I could not win this case, that I should plead. You told me that if you were innocent, any case can be won, or lost. I told you I wanted you to fight and I was not pleading. Boy, did you fight, and fight, and fight. Getting my case dismissed so close to trial was a miracle. Thank you all."
[T]hank you and congratulate you both on an excellent job well done. You two have the confidence of an eagle and the strength of a grizzly bear. Mark, when you come in the court room you have that aura that puts out extreme perfection and demands perfection. Your attorney entered the court room you do a quick scan of the surroundings and immediately find your designated and spot for your plan of action, then scope in your clients and prepare your strategy as in a battle field.
You two work as a fantastic team and make sure your client feels safe. I will be in to than you both in person and would like to get 5 of your cards for a few friends who I know could use a GREAT team as you two behind them at time of need. Again, than you!
Client whose case was dismissed
Back in 2003 I was defended by Griffith and Associates and they did a great job of keeping me out of Prison, with 2 Felony counts. I was put on 10 years deferred probation and had to go to SAFP. In trusting in them 8 years ago I decided to go back to them. Since then 2011 where i served 8 years of my probation i wanted to apply for early release from probation and Griffith and Associates did a magnificent job on getting me granted Early release of probation. I want to personally thank them and the team on working on this for me so i can move on with my life and better my future! Your team did a excellent job and i would definitely recommend this Firm to anyone! They have great ethics and wonderful morals and they will fight till the end for you. Once again Thank you Griffith and Associates. Also, I wanted to say that I have interacted with several defense attorneys through the years and I must tell you that you and your associates are the hardest working, most approachable group I have ever dealt with.
I am so proud I followed recommendations to hire your team. I thought my life would be ruined. You did everything you said you would do. I want to come by the office and hug each one of your team members. You saved my career, you save me so much stress. You saved me.
Client's case was dismissed prior to trial
“Mark and your team are the greatest! When I first met Mark he told me “don’t worry I will take care of you”. That is exactly what he did. I feel like I have my life back. These two people, Mark and his team are one hell of a team! Thank you for giving me back my life.
Client charged with Assault/Family Violence, case dismissed on 7/30/12
“Mark and Team:
I cannot than you enough for all of your hard work and support on this case. Today is indeed a great day! We all are overjoyed and ecstatic at the good news.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
1st Degree Injury to a Child case DISMISSED 3 days before trial.
"In my time of need Mark Griffith and his excellent staff showed no fear and gave me the strength to continue to the very end, if it wasn't for them I would have given up" so I sincerely thank you all this will let me sleep better at night.“
Quote from Client whose charge of Racing on a Highway was dismissed prior to trial.