Managing Business Litigation

In today’s legal environment, resolving complex commercial disputes frequently requires a team of lawyers, each of whom specializes in a particular practice area. Many small and mid-sized businesses do not have an in-house general counsel, and of those that do, many have neither the time nor the inclination to monitor the team’s activities on a day-to-day basis. Moreover, each member of the litigation team may have a different idea about the importance of his or her issue to the overall case. The team needs a leader, and that is the role we fill when we are engaged to manage business litigation. In layman’s terms, we are the “point man” for the litigation team.

Litigation is the ultimate test for a lawyer, requiring substantial preparation and effort both before and during trial. With the stakes so high and the pressure so great, it is little wonder that lawyers are sometimes guilty of “overlitigating” cases. Equally dangerous, litigation can be a huge distraction for a business. Frequent interruptions, like requests for documents or information from lawyers and paralegals, can cause substantial economic harm. Worse, the anxiety that comes from being a party to a lawsuit can cause a severe loss of focus (something we call “litigation paralysis”) and substantial morale problems.

To be fair, there are aspects of litigation, and things that litigators must consider, about which many non-litigators are unaware. For example:

  • How soon after a case is initiated should jury instructions be drafted.
  • Can, and should, a witness be deposed a second time or will a deposition upon written questions suffice.
  • Are there admissibility problems with one or more pieces of evidence, how can those problems be overcome, and how do these evidentiary issues affect any settlement analysis.
  • How important is the “theme” when a case is tried.

We know questions like these must be answered when a case is pending. We coordinate the team’s effort, develop a consistent theme among the team members, and ensure that all of the lawyers keep their eyes on the ultimate goal, a successful outcome as measured by the client’s objectives. Because our focus is the big picture, we are also able to ensure that there is no duplication of effort and no needless increase in fees and costs.

Our litigation experience allows us to:

  • Identify which discovery is truly necessary, and which is merely a waste of the team’s resources.
  • Act as the central repository for relevant facts and documents, so each team member gets the information he or she needs, while you and your employees deal with only one person.
  • Provide you with straightforward, unbiased advice about the work your team is doing, and the recommendations they are making.

Our goal is not to second-guess the other members of the team. Instead, we are with them, every step along the way, helping make the decisions that will eventually make the difference in the outcome of your case.

Obviously, this requires a great deal of trust on your part.  That trust is already in place, however, because we have bred a long-term relationship and you recognize that because we are not simply a litigation boutique our interest is what is best for you and your company, not merely prolonging the dispute.