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“Five Ways Attorneys Waste Money” – Plus Another Whopper

May 16, 2012

Very good post on FindLaw by the Valorem Law Group discussing areas of attorney inefficiency that can greatly inflate your legal bills. I have seen all of these many, many times.

The Fab Five are:

  1. Filing needless motions
  2. Too many hands on deck
  3. Every stone doesn’t need to be picked up and examined
  4. Picking needless fights
  5. Missing opportunities for resolution

To the Fab Five, I would add a 6th – which has elements of all of the above – inefficient discovery. As Kathryn Kirmayer recently opined in her great post “In Support of Flat Fee Pricing for Complex Litigation Matters”:

“Discovery in the United States has to be the single most inefficient process ever devised. The substantial majority of time and money spent in big case litigation is spent in discovery: e-discovery and production of irrelevant data and documents by the millions, seven-hour depositions of insignificant witnesses by the dozens, motion after motion on such matters as where to conduct depositions or which proposed pretrial schedule is more reasonable.”

“These practices are the progeny of the billable hour. Lawyers on flat fees (or contingent fees) abhor inefficiency and avoid the discovery morass. They do not mess around with unnecessary depositions or hunting down documents at the far reaches of relevance. They figure out what’s truly important, go get it as directly as possible, and move on. As their numbers grow, pressure on the system to increase in efficiency will increase. Over time, it could be that the market may trim the discovery process back down to size, to the benefit of us all.”

Well said, Kathyrn!

Five Ways Attorneys Waste Money on FindLaw

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