The Most Challenging Aspects of Litigation
The most challenging aspect of litigation, from a client’s perspective, is the cost. These days, the cost of litigation is prohibitive and minimizing the cost of the case is part of our professional duty. Lawyers have a mandate not to push for litigation. Instead, we inform the client of other settlement options. There are many ways that a case can be settled, such as mediation, negotiated settlement, and arbitration. In family law, there are four-way meetings and collaborative divorce. These avenues can be more cost-effective.
The other challenging aspect of litigation is the emotional toll it can take on a client. When we deal with clients, we have to consider how much of the emotional stress they can handle and how far they’re willing to take a case. Some clients make it clear early on that they don’t want a long process and want it dealt with as quickly as possible. These cases are taken on during a stressful time in their lives. Being involved in a legal dispute occupies a large part of their mind, they can become costly, and require much of their time. Not to mention their ongoing responsibilities outside of the case. All of these are important aspects we have to keep in mind when working on a case..
In my experience, litigators have to have on-going discussions with the client about the costs, both emotional and financial. These are matters I raise with my clients as the case progresses. It’s important to make sure they’re comfortable with the direction the case is heading and are capable of proceeding.
Educating the client on their options is crucial. Once we explain to them their potential options and the costs involved, both financial and emotional, they can then make an informed decision. Additionally, taking the time to properly walk the client through their options builds trust. It shows that we truly want what’s best for them.