Efficient Litigation: How Clients Can Better Serve Themselves
Whether it is in Houston or abroad, for clients, the cheapest and most effective way to reduce liability in litigation is planning for litigation before it occurs. The first step of any business owner is to identify the potential liability, and then organize and plan around that liability. In doing so, the owner or manager of a business will inherently mitigate their loss, and when that litigation does arise they will be prepared to face it head on.The status quo for medium to large law firms is well known and established in the industry. Law firms have tiers or attorneys lawyers, all billing different rates. A junior associate is often times given a batch of documents to review, which he then researches and drafts a memorandum on. That work product then passes to a senior associate, then on the junior partner. Once a junior partner signs off on the work, it goes up the ladder to a junior partner, and so on. A document can sometimes touch four or five qualified attorneys before finally being approved, and every one of those attorneys is billing at an increased level.
The reality is litigation can be very expensive, but some of that cost can be reduced. For instance, document discovery.Document discovery is the process of exchanging documents relevant to your litigation with your opponent. In some litigation, this can mean tens of thousands of pages of documents and months of document review. An email search alone can yield ten thousand messages, even in relatively small cases.This is where you, the client, come in. Most business law clients know proper record keeping is a good business practice. But proper record keeping done with an eye toward efficient litigation, if necessary, can save you thousands and thousands of dollars if a dispute arises.We aren’t suggesting that you build your record keeping system around the eventuality of litigation, but we are suggesting that sitting down with your lawyer and talking about little tips for user friendly and litigation friendly record keeping may just be money well spent.
Merely identifying and preparing for litigation can help ease litigation costs, but it can also affect your everyday bottom line by identifying potential litigation.