Cost Comparison

To progress a dispute through our adversarial justice system is a lengthy and expensive process.  And keep in mind that fees for an advocate (attorney, lawyer) would realistically at least be doubled since, in most cases, each party hires an attorney. 

Litigation Tasks (costs):

Case Initiation

Conduct client intake; initial fact investigation; legal research; draft complaint/answer; cross claim; counterclaim or \third-party claim; motion to dismiss on procedural grounds; defenses to procedural motions; meet and confer regarding case scheduling and discovery

Discovery

Draft and file mandatory disclosures; draft/answer interrogatories; respond to requests for production of documents; identify and consult with experts; review expert reports; identify and interview non-expert witnesses; depose opponent’s witnesses; prepare for and attend opponent’s deposition; resolve electronically stored information issues; review discovery/case assessment; resolve discovery disputes

Settlement

Attend mandatory ADR [alternative dispute resolution) settlement negotiations; settlement conferences; draft settlement agreement; draft and file motion to dismiss.

Pre-trial Motions

Legal research; draft motions in limine [meaning at the start – literal translation “on the threshold]; draft motions for summary judgement; answer opponents motions; prepare for motion hearings; argue motions

Trial

Legal research; prepare witnesses and experts; meet with co-counsel (trial team); prepare for voir dire [jury selection process]; motion to sequester; prepare opening and closing statements; prepare for direct (and cross) examination; prepare jury instructions; propose finding of fact and conclusions of law; propose orders; conduct trial

Post-Depositions

Conduct post-deposition settlement negotiations, draft motion for rehearing, JNOV [judgement notwithstanding verdict], additur [a legal term referring to the practice of a trial judge adding damages additional to the original amount awarded by the jury], remittitur [a ruling by a judge (usually upon motion to reduce or throw out a jury verdict) lowering the amount of damages granted by a jury in a civil case], enforce judgement, any appeal activity.


Quick Facts

  • During 2013, the median cost of civil litigation fell within the range of $43,000 to $122,000 to each party
  • We charge $800 per day, an amount that is usually divided equally by the parties. 
  • Normally cases progressed through the judicial process are required to be submitted to an Alternative Dispute Resolution process.
  • You have the opportunity to move directly to the alternative dispute resolution step, avoiding the expense and time associated with the initial steps of the judicial process
  • The choice is whether to invest $800 per day (split equally between the parties), to see if a resolution can be reached that is mutually acceptable to the parties.  Or spend in the neighborhood of $43,000 to $122,000 (or more) to hire an advocate to “fight” with the other advocate and have a judge or jury render a verdict that imposes a settlement that may not be optimal for either party.