Litigation Management

Malyszek & Malyszek has been litigating Government contract issues to all the Boards, United States Court of Federal Claims, and General Accountability Office (GAO) for over 40 years. When litigation is required it takes experience and preparation to win against the Federal government. Malyszek & Malyszek understands that companies have limited resources and managing the costs of litigation is a critical aspect to winning the case.

Insurers and third-party administrators guarantee their customers that litigation management is a standard claims service that they offer. Litigation is a very expensive business. If not properly managed, legal costs can become enormous.

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) was presented to bring litigation to a conclusion through mediation or arbitration, therefore avoiding drawn-out and costly litigation. Another element was the requirement that only preapproved outside counsel with negotiated hourly rates could be used for defense work. The evaluation and approval of legal bills by adjusters has also been a litigation management practice from the beginning.

The greatest emphasis was placed on adjusters keeping ownership of their claims. Adjusters were frequently warned not to abandon claims to defense counsel. They were educated that attorneys are trained to complete discovery and litigate, but have far less knowledge than adjusters with pricing and settling claims. They were warned that defense counsel might be motivated to fully complete the discovery process prior to being ready to consider settlement even when the facts were clear and the information necessary to price the claim was presented.

Much of what falls under the rubric of litigation management is really related to client communications. Regular and clear communication between outside counsel and the client or in-house counsel are crucial to establishing a basis for effective litigation management. Set forth below are some ideas and tips on how to progress communications with the client:

• Try putting yourself in the client’s position. To an amateur--and sometimes even sophisticated clients or in-house counsel--the cost, options, and potential consequences of litigation must seem confusing. How would you feel if you were named as a defendant in a lawsuit that seeks millions of dollars in reparations? Approaching client communications from the point of view of the client is a valuable reality check. More importantly, it leads to a greater understanding of the client’s concerns, and an awareness of the significance of addressing those concerns.
• After first being contacted by a potential client or existing client about a new matter, outside counsel must comprehend the facts of the dispute and the client’s goals.

The advice of outside counsel is only as good as his or her understanding of the factual background of the dispute. A client’s initial interpretation of the facts often fails to include the bad facts and almost never includes the opposing party’s version of the facts. Charting a course of action without knowing what the other side will say about the dispute is risky and can lead to expensive faults. After the facts are known, outside counsel is appropriately prepared to consider the substitutes and provide advice to the client.

Many of our clients have stated that our “lawyers understand that cost of litigation on contractors, they make every effort to limit its impact without risk to the litigation.” Contact Malyszek & Malyszek today to speak to one of our attorneys.