The hidden costs of litigation

Some clients who seek to resolve a dispute through a lawsuit, or who find themselves engaged in the litigation process may be confronted with litigation costs of a kind that they did not anticipate before filing. Included in that list of expenses are some that may not be easy to recognize, such as costs that are financial, personal, and even emotional. What a client may see as the projected or expected cost of litigation at the outset will likely be an underrepresentation of the unseen costs the client will incur as they navigate through the process.

The fees paid to an attorney for representation are but one cost in a matter. For any case with a degree of complexity, a client may encounter other financial costs such as court filing fees and service costs, expert fees, document preparation and transcript fees, investigation services, deposition fees, court reporter fees, court motion or hearing appearance costs, mediation or arbitrator fees; and all of these may be incurred before the parties reach trial. A single day of trial time usually takes days of pre-trial preparation. These financial expenses can add up quickly.

The most expensive hidden cost of litigation may be the personal and emotional stress that litigation exerts upon the individual. This stress can be wide-ranging and brings with it a new degree of emotional worry and anxiety. The client will be required to develop coping and time-management skills to deal with the constant pressures of litigation that will be added to existing duties of work and general life-management. This stress will be compounded if the individual is called upon not just to be a litigant, but also to be a witness, or particularly, if the individual himself or herself is the object of the litigation. Furthermore, for those new to experience, the unfamiliarity of the litigation process and the uncertainty of the outcome will most likely be a source of profound stress.

It is for those reasons that an individual client needs the assistance of a skilled attorney to navigate through the process of litigation. With the aid of an experienced attorney, a client will be able to sort the critical issues from the non-critical, address those issues with dispositive motions, rely on that attorney for guidance and support, and focus valuable energy and resources in an efficient manner prior to trial.

At Fidelis Law, PLLC, we welcome the opportunity to assist those clients who may be considering entering into litigation, or who find themselves the object of a litigation. We bring our skill and experience to assess those true “hidden” costs of litigation so that the client has as realistic a picture as possible of the costs involved in navigating their case.