Why Is Going To Trial So Expensive?

I get asked this question routinely:

“Why is going to trial so much more expensive than other aspects of a case?” 

And that’s a really good question, because that’s sometimes a misunderstood aspect of litigation. 

The Proverbial Ducks In A Row
In order to go to trial — you have to have all your ducks in a row — you have to present the evidence in favor of the plaintiff.  The plaintiff has the burden of proof to prove his or her case.  In order to do that, many times you have to hire expert witnesses to provide qualified testimony about the nature and extent of the injuries.  You have to spend money to prepare detailed exhibits.  Sometimes they’re electronic exhibits.  Sometimes the  exhibits you’re presenting, require a great deal of expert involvement.  Sometimes just in order to prepare the exhibits for a jury’s review, you have to spend thousands of dollars just to have an expert review the data underlying those exhibits and approve the exhibit itself. 

Going To Trial Is Expensive But Sometimes Necessary
Unfortunately, that’s the reality that we live in, and the insurance companies know that and they know that in many cases plaintiffs will settle short of trial because they don’t want to spend those costs.  And they also know that in some cases, some attorneys will they themselves accept less than fair value for a case in order to avoid going to trial.  That’s not my policy and that’s not something I would ever recommend on behalf of a client of mine, because I believe that the preservation of the  jury-trial system is fundamental to our rights as an American democracy or Republican system, however you want to define it.

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