Hiring A Litigation Attorney? Here’s What You Should Know First

Thursday, July 5th, 2018
the litigation process and litigation attorneys

Litigation attorneys are critical if you are looking to file a legal claim or defend against one. Unlike transactional lawyers, a litigation attorney is the one in courtrooms prosecuting or defending claims for clients. While they are the type you might associate with television or movies, their job is not nearly as glamorous. These professionals specialize in investigating and prosecuting cases. Here is what you need to know if you think you may need a litigation attorney.

What litigation attorneys can do for you

Anytime you want to file a lawsuit or settle a business dispute, you should consult with a litigation expert. You may not end up hiring the attorney, but they can advise and walk you through the various legal details of your case. A professional litigation attorney will help you determine if their services are the best option for your situation before you hire them.

Litigation attorneys can explain the process and help you identify your possible claims and how you can prove those claims. They can also inform you of potential pitfalls or defenses the other side may try to use. These professionals are trained to identify causes of action (legal issues) and to prepare cases for trial. A litigation attorney begins by maneuvering your case to give you the best chance of getting the most compensation or relief for your situation.

Situations in which you should hire a litigation attorney

If you are named as a defendant in a lawsuit, you should always speak to an attorney. You don’t want to try defending these claims on your own. Here are just a few examples of when to hire a litigation lawyer.

Professional disputes within a business can be cause for hiring legal help. If you are fired from your job due to discrimination or if an employee is suing you for discrimination, you can hire a litigation attorney. When you are settling a past debt, if you are injured in an accident, or if an ex-spouse fails to pay financial support, these attorneys can also help.

You may simply want to contact a litigation attorney for their opinion. Speaking to them does not mean that you are immediately going to file a complaint and go to trial. Litigation attorneys have several tools available to get a settlement and avoid the stress and expense of trial. Negotiated settlements, mediation, and arbitration can all help you get a fair outcome.

Think about the cost

There are two ways litigation attorneys bill their clients: contingency and billable hours. In general, plaintiff attorneys, those who sue on behalf of a client, bill on contingency and defense attorneys bill hourly. Litigation attorneys who focus on cases pertaining to businesses may bill differently. It is always best to ask financial questions before hiring an attorney.

Contingency billing means the attorney will represent you for the duration of litigation and collect their fee as part of the settlement you receive. Some plaintiff attorneys will collect a percentage of any potential judgment. However, if they don’t win, they usually don’t charge you anything. Contingency fees can incentivize plaintiff attorneys to press for the best possible case because they depend on winning the case.

Defense attorneys typically charge hourly rates. If you visit a firm, they should explain the rate for each attorney, paralegal, and assistant involved. Some defense attorneys also offer flat rates for certain matters such as uncontested divorces or for certain aspects of a case.

What you should expect from your litigation attorney

A litigation attorney should keep you informed of the progress of your case. Keep in mind that lawsuits can take months or even years to resolve. If your attorney bills hourly, you should receive an invoice that details everything they did for you. In general, your attorney should keep you in the loop, communicate settlement offers, and advise you of settlement or court options.

Special issues for small businesses

Small businesses are often on a small budget, so if you operate a smaller company, you should focus on minimizing costs. However, there are a few issues in which you should seek legal counsel because they could affect the survival of your business. First, if a current or former partner is suing you or the business, you should speak with a litigation attorney. Second, if your business is being investigated by a government entity, a lawyer can help. Third, environmental issues are another problem that can quickly spiral out of control and drown your business in compliance costs without an attorney’s help. Finally, if you are engaged in negotiations to sell or purchase a business, a litigation attorney can help you avoid issues.

If you believe you need a litigation attorney, contact the experts at Brown & Fortunato, P.C. today. We have experience in a wide range of business-related and individual Litigation needs and have helped clients around the country. You can call us at (833) 228-6300 or Contact Us by email to find out more about our Practice Areas and how we can help you. If you would like to discuss your case in person, you can visit us at 905 S. Fillmore St., Suite 400, in Amarillo, Texas.