Is There Such A Thing As “Cost-Effective” Litigation?

Probably not.  But there are many things I do that keep costs down.  Of course, they can all go out the window if the other side is determined to fight tooth and nail over everything regardless of their own costs (see yesterday’s post on this very topic).  As someone once said, “the best way to control litigation costs is not to litigate.”  Another key point: what do you, the client, want to accomplish. Do you want catharsis?  To teach others you won’t be bullied? To just get closure?  Each of these can change the cost equation.

But still, generally, I tell clients that litigation can be done fast, done cheap and done leaving no stone unturned.  Pick 2.  You cannot have all 3.  I try to find a balance. How?  I keep the overall strategy (formulated at the client’s direction) in mind as I decide on tactical issues and next steps.  But every step in the litigation should be taken with a view toward achieving victory at trial.  Each move should be predicated on obtaining a fact that will eventually appear in a Motion for Summary Judgment or in my closing argument.  That keeps me from getting distracted.  How much discovery, what type of discovery (depositions, interrogatories, requests to admit, etc.), whether or not to file a motion, objections to their discovery, all these issues and many more get evaluated through the lens of what is needed to win at trial.  And never forget:  Discovery disputes can really run up the bill and frequently do nothing for or against your case.

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