The Intangible Costs of Litigation and How to Diminish Them

Litigation can be costly. Whether it’s the cost of hiring an attorney, the cost of the settlement or verdict itself, there is little debate that litigating can get expensive quickly. But what about intangible costs? The costs outside of attorney fees and settlement? Many people overlook these costs at the outset of litigation and that can be a big mistake. It’s important to consider these costs as you navigate litigation and take them into account as you decide how to pursue or defend a case. What are these intangible costs? It depends on the case and circumstances, but overall there tend to be at least three categories of intangible costs to consider: time, reputation, stress/distraction.

Time

Time is money, right? Do you consider it costly to you or your business if you have to spend time in a deposition or locating documents, or even just meeting with your attorney? What about the time spent at a trial that may last days or even weeks? This is time spent away from your family, away from your work, and can add up in the end. It’s important to recognize that litigation takes a lot of time from the litigant, witnesses, etc. Be aware of this at the beginning and keep it in mind as you decide when to pursue a case or when to accept a settlement.

Reputation

Being involved in litigation can sometimes cause damage to your reputation. Whether you are pursuing a breach of contract, or defending your company against a claim, others in the industry could question your reputation. Is the claim you’re bringing legitimate or is it a “stretch”? Are the accusations against you true? Even if you are 100% in the right, the fact that there are allegations in a lawsuit can cause others to question your reputation. There are sometimes ways to diminish these effects but it’s always important to consider your reputation, and what that can cost you, as you navigate litigation.

Stress/Distraction

Litigation is stressful. Will you win? Will you have to pay a large settlement? When will it end? Compiling documents, testifying under oath, all of these things can be stressful. And with stress, comes distraction for your priority – your work. When you are dealing with litigation, you will inevitably be distracted from your work to some degree. While this is normal for litigation, it’s something you need to be aware of from the outset. You may want to delegate certain job duties while you are involved in litigation or come up with a plan to minimize stress and distraction. Without awareness and a plan, this stress and distraction of litigation can ultimately be costly to you and your company.

While litigation may come with these intangible costs, there are always ways to diminish the effects on you and your company. It’s important to be aware of these from the outset and re-evaluate them as you make decisions in the litigation process.

At Bennett Legal Group, we know these intangible costs can be important and we can help you craft a plan to keep them top of mind and diminish their effects throughout the litigation process. Call us today for your consultation if you are considering litigation or may be the target of litigation.

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