An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: How To Minimize Your Litigation Costs
By: Brent V. Trapana
In today’s economic climate, litigation clients are looking to get the best legal services for the optimal lowest price. Of course, hiring an experienced and knowledgeable litigation attorney plays an important role in keeping litigation costs down. However, one of the best and easiest ways to minimize litigation costs is to plan ahead and take preventative measures.
The majority of people who hire ligation lawyers do so to resolve some form of dispute. Many of the underlying documents given rise to the dispute are prepared by the parties themselves and not by a legal professional, because the parties do not want to expend the time or money associated with hiring a lawyer at the outset of a new venture. However, this nominal upfront savings the parties may initially be benefiting from does not outweigh the risk of expensive litigation in the event litigation is necessary.
When parties draft their own legal documents, they run the risk of not only increasing the likelihood of litigation in the future but significantly increasing the expense of that litigation. This is because litigators are experienced in finding the flaws in legal documents and leveraging those flaws against the other side to the benefit of their clients. When parties draft their own legal documents without the assistance of a lawyer, these parties tend to omit necessary or important language, include unnecessary language, or fail to accurately portray their intent. These drafting mistakes and omissions make it much easier for litigation lawyers to find the weaknesses in the other side’s case. Generally, the more issues that need to be litigated, the more costly the litigation will be.
By hiring a lawyer to draft or even review legal documents to ensure they are legally sound could save thousands of dollars in the long run. Of course, there is no guarantee that hiring a lawyer in the drafting stages of a venture will eliminate any future litigation. However, this generally limits the issues that will need to be litigated, which will almost always reduce the litigation expenses. Additionally, having a strong contractual agreement in place sometimes even prevents parties from breaching as the consequences of the breach are not worth the risk and uncertainty of litigation. Just like anything else in life, it is always easier to try to prevent a problem from happening than it is to fix the problem once it has already happened.
Brent V. Trapana exclusively focuses his practice on an array of marital and family law matters, with a concentration on complex dissolution of marriage issues including alimony, child support, parental responsibility, timesharing, and equitable distribution for high-net-worth individuals. Mr. Trapana also routinely prepares intricate and unique prenuptial and postnuptial agreements for his clients.