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Law Offices of Jonathan M. Cooper

Getting the Best Bang For Your Small Business Buck With a Lawyer

As noted in my blog, I read this anonymously written online article last evening that advises you how to save “big money” when hiring an attorney to litigate your case. In my view, a careful reading of the article makes clear that the author is not a lawyer, and that he has not verified whether any of his suggested cost-saving strategies can work. In point of fact, for the reasons I set forth in the blog, including that the author’s concepts leave the attorney dangerously vulnerable to malpractice claims, I believe that his suggestions are both uninformed and unworkable, particularly when dealing in the context of small business or commercial litigation, such as where you have been the victims of trade secret or employee theft.

Lest you think that I am content to simply discredit someone else’s ideas, I would like to suggest my own list of ways that you can save significant money for your case, whether it is for you individually for your small business litigation -- without sacrificing the quality of the legal work you get. Here it is:

1)      Pick a Small Firm to Handle Your Case – smaller firms generally have lower overhead than larger firms, which often affords them greater flexibility to either charge a lower hourly fee, or to arrive at an alternative fee arrangement, such as a flat fee, for completing certain tasks, either of which should significantly reduce your litigation costs.

2)      Set Clear Parameters for the Lawsuit -- as we have noted elsewhere, the importance of specifying your goals and expectations for the lawsuit at the outset cannot be overstated. How else can you (or your attorney) know whether you’ve succeeded (and it’s time for you to stop paying legal bills)?

3)      Find a Lawyer That You Trust – trustworthy lawyers are worth their weight in gold. They will tell you at the beginning what the reasonable expectations for the litigation are, both in terms of results and expense, i.e., give you a fair cost/benefit analysis. And if they don’t have expertise in a particular discipline, they will tell you so, and may recommend a colleague that does have the requisite expertise, saving you from calling an attorney blindly.  By analogy, I vastly prefer to use doctors that come recommended by people whose opinions I value rather than selecting one out of my health care plan book.


Jonathan Cooper
Non-Compete, Trade Secret and School Negligence Lawyer