I recently wrote an article entitled “12 Ways Businesses Can Save Money on Litigation Costs.”  The article is not up on the firm website yet, so please send me an email request if you would like me to send you a copy.

Here is an excerpt:

Litigation is expensive.  Lawyers are expensive.  So, it is no wonder that most businesses and professionals do whatever they can to avoid litigation.  Sometimes, the desire to avoid litigation is so strong that businesses pay more than they should to resolve a claim, or they abandon valuable rights because they feel the cost of litigating outweighs the value of the right.

This may be a rational approach in many cases.  Indeed, researchers have concluded that dispute resolution has a substantial and disproportionate effect on small businesses.  “The impact of litigation on businesses goes well beyond the purely financial impact of legal fees and damages. Most small business owners are invested personally in their businesses; litigation causes not just financial loss, but also substantial emotional hardship, and often changes the tone of the business.”  (Impact of Litigation on Small Business, Klemm Analysis Group ii (2005)).

Nevertheless, there are times when a business must enforce or defend its rights in court.  Some disputes have to be litigated.

There is no escaping the fact that litigation is expensive, and that even diligent, experienced attorneys have a difficulty effectively budgeting complex business cases.

Still, there are a few things a business or professional can do to reduce some of those costs.  The following list contains 12 things you can do that are guaranteed to reduce your legal bill.  More importantly, doing these 12 things will put your case on a firm foundation and enhance your lawyer’s ability to present your claim or defend you from someone else’s claims.

  1. Be organized.
  2. Consult your lawyer early in the dispute.
  3. Prepare a detailed chronology of events leading up to the dispute.
  4. Organize your documents.  Most business disputes are document intensive.
  5. Make a thorough list of potential parties and witnesses.
  6. Take Photographs, make videos, and make audio recordings of important events, places, and things related to the case.
  7. Preserve your electronic data.
  8. Understand what the legal system can do for you and decide on your goals.
  9. Be proactive.
  10. Follow your lawyer’s advice.
  11. Pay attention to your fee agreement.
  12. Keep an “agenda” folder or notepad with a list of subjects you want to discuss with your lawyer.