Everyone complains about the cost of litigation – especially clients – but there are some simple ways to keep expenses in check.
One way is to thoroughly investigate your client’s case before recommending any course of action. You need to know exactly what happened before deciding what to do about it. What facts are in your favor? Which facts hurt your case? What are your strongest legal theories? What theories are likely to be raised by the other side?
Of course, you can’t know everything about your case on day one. That’s what discovery is for. But too often, attorneys plunge into action without knowing the full story.
“Before you file a lawsuit, it is important to conduct a thorough case review,” writes Maggie Bloom for Legal Reader. “This will help you determine the strengths and weaknesses of your case. It is also important to understand the other side’s legal arguments. By identifying weaknesses, you can address them before they become a problem. This will save your clients time and money in the long run.”
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6 Ways to Reduce Your Litigation Costs
Here are takeaways from the article “How to Reduce Litigation Cost for Your Law Firm Clients,” in Legal Reader (all quotes are from the article’s author Maggie Bloom).
- Prepare a case budget. Review it as the case progresses. Make adjustments as necessary.
- Think mediation, arbitration and similar strategies. Going to trial should be a last resort.
- Associate co-counsel. Put your pride aside. Bringing in a lawyer with experience and a proven track record could increase the likelihood of a favorable settlement.
- Stay in close contact with your client. You need to be the first to know of any significant change in your client’s situation, such as a divorce, new job or home relocation. It can be costly to learn about such changes after the fact.
- Use written fee agreements. Explain the difference between legal fees and costs. Clarify what expenses the client is responsible for.
- Leverage technology. A range of law office software applications can help you track deadlines, organize documents, and facilitate client communication – all of which will save time and money.
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