Attorneys who do not create litigation analyses and budgets early in the case cost clients’ money in wasted effort and unnecessary tasks. Attorneys are sometimes unwilling to give clients comprehensive budgets that allow general counsel to make business decisions on whether to proceed with litigation. Even when attorneys reluctantly generate budgets, they are often grossly inaccurate. Only lawyers with significant trial experience can prepare meaningful case evaluations and realistic budgets.
Require law firms to prepare a comprehensive litigation roadmap and budget as soon as counsel has enough time to review the case, usually within the first 60 days. General counsel should insist that outside counsel understand the client’s goals from the beginning and draft a written case analysis.
Once the client is armed with the case analysis and budget, the client can make an informed business decision whether to contest or settle the case. Early and comprehensive case analysis leads to more predictable outcomes, minimizes wasteful discovery and motion expenses, and saves overall legal fees.
Covid-19 has forced many in-house legal departments to reexamine standard operating procedures. Before Covid-19, many companies would never have considered hiring smaller litigation boutiques to try big cases. Now, small firms with tremendous trial experience provide a cost-effective solution to shrinking litigation budgets.