Dr. J is involved in a high-conflict divorce. He has a modest but somewhat complex estate, two children of his marriage, one from a prior relationship, a wife who is mad as a fire ant, and a lawyer he is not sure about.
His lawyer talks a lot, schedules a lot of long meetings with him, gives advice, which Dr. J does not always understand. He has billed Dr. J a substantial sum, but Dr. J cannot see any progress.
Dr. J. had heard that some lawyers are predatory, like sharks feeding off of any form of raw meat, exploitative, greedy, more self-interested than client-oriented. Some are excellent; some are competent, and some are faking it.
What to do?
For many years, clients like this have found me and, after a consultation or two, they ask me to take over their case.
I have done that sometimes, but I have learned that the better approach is often for them to hire me as a litigation consultant.
What is a litigation consultant?
First, a litigation consultant has to have an extensive experience as a litigator. Since my background is family law litigation and ADR, I will limit my comments to those areas.
A litigation consultant will listen to your problem, then give you an evaluation and recommendations.
That may include:
- the financial side of litigation (do you really need to spend a substantial sum on depositions, a custody evaluation, forensic accounting, and so on?);
- the emotional side (how the litigation will impact your children, how much sleep you will lose, should you be concerned about your lawyer, how much medication and counseling you will need to get through it?);
- planning (do you even have a plan?)
- an evaluation of the quality of services being provided.
Litigation consulting is much less expensive than litigation.
Litigators do the heavy lifting.
They draft the pleadings, make the court appearances, and take responsibility for the results. Litigation consultants offer the client a fresh set of eyes and a different perspective.
A litigation consultant may take over the lead as your attorney, but if he does, the transition will be smoother and more gradual than simply substituting one litigator for another.
Unsure, about your attorney? Please contact me at 214-692-1888 for a consultation.