Your business might face a lawsuit at least once in its life. Litigation is emotionally and financially draining and time-consuming. The verdict cannot be predicted even when your case is strong. You can do one thing though; cut down the litigation costs. How?
Watched “Judge Judy” or “Suits”? If you have, it means that you know the importance of documentation in winning cases. Records support your version of the facts. Good record-keeping procedures are pertinent and everything must be documented. For this reason, you must document a client’s threat in writing.
Litigation is expensive and time-consuming. Designate someone to collect all necessary information and documents for your lawyer. To reduce collection time, all documents and information relating to the case must be organized for easy access.
Reduce the number of files and boxes by scanning all addenda, contract documents, final reports, photographs or requisitions. Keep these documents in a safe USB disk. Back everything up.
Establish clear protocols for all electronic communications
The high costs of the pre-trial process are associated with “discovery”. Discovery refers to the situation where the court compels your business to produce all manner of evidence, under oath. All written and electronic documentation is asked for.
Getting hands on all electronic data is costly and complicated with your suing clients asking for email or text communications between you and the accuser. Long procedures and protocols are involved in getting such information.
Your company can lower possible future costs of acquiring electronic information by limiting the use of some electronic media with clients. Such measures lower attorney fees as well. Contact lemongrovelawyer.org for guidelines on the protocols for accessing discovery electronically.
Engage experienced attorneys
You may be tempted to resolve minor customer issues internally. Unfortunately, this strategy is ineffective in potentially significant issues. Involve experienced legal counsel to avoid producing documents or communications that harm your case. Most information in litigation cases is protected by attorney-client privilege. Call in legal counsel whenever you have a case inclined towards complications to save money in a settlement or in legal fees.
Consider alternative dispute resolution mechanisms
Have you considered binding arbitration, mediation or settlements? Weigh these alternatives against the cost of continuous litigation. If settlement or arbitration promises to cut down litigation costs or harm your company’s reputation, go for it.
The rules of professional responsibility make outside counsel obligated to abide by your decision and settle the matter.
Discuss deposition and pre-trial motion expectation with outside counsel
Under the guidance of external counsel, depose as many clients as possible and file as many motions as possible. Practice caution by ensuring that your expenses won’t be too high in the end.
Set a budget
The process and the final verdict for litigation cases are uncertain. However, periodic reports on expected costs and the progress of the case from your outside counsel will keep you in the loop. A budget guides to reduce the number of attorneys on the case or seek alternatives to settle the matter.
In conclusion, litigation involves gathering and presenting facts to prove facts and contentions within the law. You increase your chances of winning a case when you have the fact right and when you choose the best strategy to settle matters.
David Wicks is an experienced business attorney at lemongrovelawyer.org. When not in the office or in court, she volunteers at a shelter in San Diego. Check out her LinkedIn profile for more information on her work.