Maximize Your Value When Working With Trial Consultants
The Focal Point understands the challenges trial attorneys and in-house counsel face when managing tight budgets and even tighter deadlines. Author Paul Roberts offers the following tips to help make working with consultants more efficient and easier.
The full article was recently featured in Corporate Counsel, From the Experts, on October 3, 2014. To read a copy of the full article, click here.
Invest in brainpower up front
Whether you settle or go on to court, a brainstorming session helps your team come to consensus on what the case is about (the “story”) and how to proceed (the litigation plan), both of which are invaluable in the quest to keep costs down.
Involve your decision-maker early
By involving your lead attorney early, you can reduce the chance of sweeping changes on the eve of trial—or in the midst of trial—which can be very expensive and require extra personnel to get the job done quickly.
Manage trial materials efficiently
Having your trial tech collaborate with in-house paralegals is the best way to make sure your trial database is prepared in the optimal way for courtroom presentation. This also helps avoid unnecessary work that will have to be redone in the days (or hours) before trial starts—work that can involve an army of people, given the number of materials that might need to be re-organized.
Communicate clearly on scheduling
Schedule specific times you want your consultants to work with you so they can schedule the appropriate level of support—sparing you the cost of paying for folks who are “on hold” waiting for your feedback or direction.
Avoid shifting research project dates
Last-minute changes to the date of focus groups and mock trials drive up your costs because they force your consultant to recruit more people, lose facility deposits, and add additional preparation and planning.
Prevent scope creep
If changes to the scope of work arise—such as an unexpected ruling or timeline change—be sure to discuss their impact on the budget with your consultants and ask them to provide you with a revised budget estimate.
Consultants have experience scheduling a right-sized team and quickly staffing down if need be. This is far preferable to the pricey process of scrambling for resources and support at the last minute.
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Appeared in Corporate Counsel
October 03, 2014