Litigation Costs Black Hole?

How do you know if you are caught in a litigation costs black hole? When I first entered the practice of law I worked in-house at Sega, the video game company. We were in a hyper growth phase and with that kind of growth comes litigation, all kinds of litigation, some legitimate, but most of it specious. During this time, our outside counsel bills blossomed, or more accurately, exploded, to the tune of over $1M per month. To me, thatRead More

Who Decides?

Who decides the outcome of your dispute when you can’t resolve it yourself? The answer, as any good lawyer will tell you, is “it depends.” It depends on what dispute resolution method the parties choose to use and what kind of a dispute it is. Judge or Jury If you litigate thru trial in State or Federal Court, a judge or jury will decide your case. Usually, if there is a potentially strong emotional element to the case, at leastRead More

How to Keep Your Client When Litigation Isn’t the Answer

Every litigation attorney encounters the circumstance at one time or another: a long-standing client approaches you with a stubborn, both-sides-believe-they’re-right matter for which the many costs of litigation, and probably even getting to mediation, will be unreasonable compared to the limited money at stake. How can you deliver real and economic justice to the client? How can you remain the trusted legal advisor of first resort for your client and not take the case? Do you take the case andRead More

Contract Disagreements, Failures, and Misunderstandings…What Are Your Resolution Options?

You suffer the irate voicemail, the missing payment, faulty product, unmet deadline, or an escalated service issue. One thing is always true: it involves a financial and reputational risk to your business and an interruption of operations. The failure, perceived or real, of one or both parties to meet the terms of an agreement have led to consequences for your business. Now what do you do? The first step in a dispute is to know your options. Here is ourRead More

Avoiding Arbitration

It would be great if arbitration were THE alternative answer to litigating in courts with over crowded dockets and ever shrinking budgets, but arbitration hasn’t turned out to be that kind of panacea over the last 40 years. I was stopped at a traffic light behind a vehicle with a license plate that said ARBATR8. Now, I haven’t thought about arbitration much, in years. In fact, I don’t think much about arbitration at all, but seeing that license plate gotRead More

Contract Management Best Practices: What Are You Willing To Risk?

Whether a business manages hundreds of contracts per year or only a few for key relationships, contracts are a fundamental component of risk management for every company. Contracts define business relationships and transactions.  Moreover, how a business mitigates contract and dispute risks profoundly affects its financial health and reputation as a business partner.

How much DOES discovery cost?

Litigation can be expensive and one of the largest expenses of any litigation is finding information. Of those dollars devoted to discovery and investigation costs, producing electronically stored information (ESI) alone can comprise 60-80% of those costs. Drilling down into those costs and taking a closer look at what it costs to produce ESI, according to the Rand Institute for Civil Justice, reviewing these documents for relevancy and privilege comprises 73% of these production costs. A common industry benchmark forRead More

Recently Resolved: Where is My Penalty Payment?

The Dispute Our latest Resolve involved a laboratory services contract that specified the payment of about $28,000 in penalties if the customer delayed the start date of the study. As is often the case, both sides believed they were in the right, actually had good reasons for believing it, and felt the other side was acting the scoundrel. The laboratory had reserved and purchased resources and materials specific to this study and so had lost the opportunity to do otherRead More

How California Court Budget Cuts Could Affect Your Business

California is in the third year of cuts, and the state’s courts are taking a $660 million hit: $350 million in the latest budget cuts and another $310 million originally earmarked for court construction that is being diverted to the State’s General Fund. Complex litigation departments which handle business trials will be closed or cut back, and many cases will marinate as statutory time limits approach 1. Closed courts and delayed hearings mean a dispute could sit unresolved or evenRead More