I haven’t met a client yet who didn’t think that litigation sucked. It does suck. As your attorney, I try to make a sucky situation a little less sucky as we work together to resolve the legal dispute.
My Approach to Litigation
As primarily a litigation attorney this may sound funny, but I’m actually litigation averse. If it can be avoided, litigation is probably not in your best interest so I would prefer not to litigate. This is because litigation causes problems of its own. (Read this from NY Times).
The 2 Problems with Litigation
Problem #1 is the actual problem. This could be that someone breached a contract with you, or it could be that someone says you breached a contract or owe them money for some reason. Either way, you want some help resolving this problem. This is why you’re going to an attorney in the first place.
Problem #2 is that resolving that dispute is going to cost you money. Many times, while you are trying to resolve that first problem, your attorney’s fees become a bigger, more immediate problem. This is a real problem. I can’t completely eliminate this problem. Instead, we work together to see if we can create a plan to work around it.
Solving the 2 Problems
To solve Problem #1, the first thing we do is make sure that a lawsuit is the right approach for you by reviewing and ruling out the alternatives. Believe it or not though, as sucky as litigation is, there are some advantages to it. We discuss these options and issues so you can make an informed decision on how to proceed with your case. (I charge a fee for this consultation.) However you elect to proceed, we will pursue that option vigorously and relentlessly with the goal of obtaining your desired solution to Problem #1.
As for Problem #2, I address this issue by providing realistic estimates and a litigation budget for the foreseeable phases of litigation. In this way, we can minimize the risks in project over-runs and even share in the risks where appropriate. I have also made the personal commitment that I will never sue a client for unpaid legal bills (this is not the case for many lawyers–in fact there is a body of law allowing attorneys to do this and I have actually defended clients in those lawsuits). These are some of the ways I try to make litigation less sucky. I DO NOT charge a fee for discussing problem #2.
If You are Considering Litigation
If you are considering litigation or have already been sued, I provide a paid legal consultation where we look at your case together to decide the best way to overcome Problem #1. I will give you my professional and personal opinion and a recommendation on how I would proceed. There is no obligation to proceed. After you have elected how you would like to proceed, I will provide a free strategy meeting so we can determine the best arrangements to overcome Problem #2 so we can attack problem #1 unfettered. I can assure you that the initial paid consultation will result in significant long run savings–even if you decide to do nothing further.