4 Ways to Reduce Legal Fees on a Construction Case
- Properly sort your documents
- Make sure you stay updated with your case
- Always request a rough estimate of different tasks
- Decide with your attorney the best way to go about your case and stick with it
Organize your files
The more organized you are in keeping and sorting your construction records, the less time your construction lawyer is going to need to spend in understanding and organizing the case and your documents. This means you are going to spend less money on legal fees. A client once came into our construction law firm and brought boxes of unorganized documents. We had to go through those boxes, lay out the documents and organize them. That costs money, and it is money he didn’t have to spend with us had he organized them himself or with someone in his office. You can put your physical documents in binders and organize the soft copy in folders. Use Dropbox or OneDrive. Use labels for folders and create a timeline of events so your attorney can get a head start in the case because you have done some of the digestion of the information for him or her by putting the information together in an organized way.
Ask to be copied on everything that you get or that is sent out
If your attorney is corresponding via email with the opposing attorney, ask that you be blind copied on all of those emails. If your attorney is uncomfortable blind copying you, have him forward a copy to you after the fact. If your attorney files documents with a court, ask for copies so that you can see what is going on. Find out what arguments are being made by your attorney in the case as well as the points being raised by your opposition. Staying informed helps you in two ways. First, it allows you to be at ease with the case because now you know what is going on. Second, you don’t have to keep calling your attorney to obtain an update because you will be updated constantly as the case is progressing.
Ask for rough estimates of different tasks that are happening during the course of the case
If your attorney says you need to file something in court, you should ask the attorney questions about the estimates of the task. How much do you think it is going to cost? When do you think it will be ready, and when do you think we will get an answer? These types of questions are more than reasonable to ask. You should be asking them regularly, and your attorney should be comfortable in giving you a rough estimate. These steps may not be perfect, but at least they create a guideline for the attorney to follow. They also allow you to understand what your bill may be before you receive it at the end of the month. You should be able to drive some of your legal costs down just by asking for estimates.
Pick a strategy and stick with it
Some clients will pick a strategy, and we will move on that strategy for a few months, only to have them pick another strategy because they have had a change of heart. They will move on the new strategy for another few months, and maybe decide that they want to take get a different approach. All of this back and forth approach to the litigation costs money because the things you would do under one strategy may be unnecessary under another. So, decide with your attorney in a collaborative way what is the best strategy based on where you are with your case. Employ that strategy and give it time to work.