Many of our potential clients are sure that they want to file a lawsuit, but few have actually thought through—or even realize—the many costs and benefits to doing so. Before filing a lawsuit, you should do a cost-benefit analysis. Identify and then weigh the pros and cons. This seven-part series explores some things to consider when deciding whether a lawsuit is the best way to go.
Plaintiffs and defendants both need to have an idea how much a case is worth. If you are thinking about filing a case as a plaintiff, you need to know if it will be worth going through the hassle, emotional stress, and costs. You need to know whether you should settle, and for how much, or if you should take the case to trial. If you are a defendant, you need to know what kind of financial impact the case could have. You must know what you are up against, when a settlement offer is reasonable, and when it is too much to pay.
Why would you hire an attorney rather than do it yourself with help from a CD or website? Aside from providing knowledge and skills you may not have, a good attorney should help you by thinking in certain ways. Let’s examine some of those ways.
Attorneys and sometimes other intellectuals get teased that they “think like a lawyer.” (Perhaps the real problem is “talking like a lawyer,” which is boring, incomprehensible, or both.) “Thinking like a lawyer” is the point of three expensive years of law school.