Persuasion Matters

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Getting a Bigger Bang for Your Litigation Buck

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work on hundreds of legal matters. From my perch as a jury and trial strategy consultant, I’ve seen great lawyering and not-so-great lawyering, and I’ve seen legal teams that operate efficiently and teams that operated wastefully.

My client and friend Charlie Armstrong, vice president and assistant general counsel at Flowserve Corp., can say the same.

So the two of us put our heads together to compile our best advice to in-house counsel for controlling costs in complex litigation. The resulting article, Getting a Bigger Bang for Your Litigation Buck, was published in the August 1 issue of Texas Lawyer.

Although the article is written for in-house counsel, outside counsel can benefit from it just as well. Here are some of the highlights:

  1. Work together on the budget. Discussing billing expectations, likely scope of discovery, the need for experts, expected motion practice and potential trigger points can all help maximize efficiencies and minimize unwanted surprises.
  2. Communicate early and often. Clearly convey expectations, desired outcomes and any hot-button issues.
  3. Stay involved. In-house counsel should actively participate throughout the litigation process. Don’t micromanage, but do be an integral part of the team.
  4. Work backwards. At the beginning of litigation, ask what will be on the jury charge. What testimony or evidence will be needed to prove the elements? Focusing on the charge early in the case is one of the best ways to keep discovery efforts focused on the important issues while minimizing expense for interesting but ultimately low-value issues.
  5. Invest early to save later. Investing the time and money to brainstorm potential themes with a jury consultant and or conducting focus group or other mock juror exercises early in discovery can pay big dividends in the long run and can end up saving money on the back end.

You can read the full article here

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