Although most individuals understand that hiring a commercial business litigation attorney and pursuing a case in the Florida court system is an expensive process, most clients have a difficult time understanding how they end up spending tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and costs—especially if they do not prevail at the end of the case. To avoid frustration from your clients, it pays to explain in advance of litigation just how expensive this process becomes.
Many attorneys tell their clients that a case may end up costing tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars or more by the time the case is resolved. However, this can be a bit vague to clients, especially those who have never been involved in litigation. An excellent way to explain legal fees and expenses to your client is to show them the numbers. For example, explain how your $400 per hour billing rate means that taking fifteen minutes to write a letter or to speak with you on the phone will cost $100.00. Pull up your local court’s website and show your client the filing fees associated with the case. Show your client invoices from court reporters for past depositions and from expert witnesses for past consultation and testimony. Although it is impossible to predict the exact expenses a case will require, giving your clients examples of the costs involved will benefit the attorney-client relationship.
At some point, you will likely need to discuss alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, with your client and explain its benefits. When your clients understand the costs involved with commercial litigation, it will be easier to discuss the advantages of mediation with them. Of course, settling a case earlier will save your clients time, money, and stress. Settling a case through mediation will also allow your office to work more efficiently and use its resources in a cost-effective manner.