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October 18, 2007

Great news: clients are smarter, better served, or something--but lawsuits are down.

Well, at the moment, who cares about why? See Carolyn Elefant's piece at Legal Blog Watch, re: the new Fulbright & Jaworski survey on the downturn on most fronts in business litigation, and this related report in the Pittsburgh Business Times. Wonderful. Could it be that smart and well-served companies and clients are preventing or minimizing litigation? If the "non-litigation" part of your company or law firm is doing its job, cases should be down.

Litigators are like nuclear warheads; everyone has to have them--but once you start using them, everything gets expensive and screwed up. Litigators know this better than anyone. Hull McGuire does commercial litigation, lots of it, and we love doing it. But even in the best of cases, no one ever "wins". Like war itself, commercial litigation is a last resort, and an inefficient way to resolve virtually any dispute.

Updated: 10/16/07 2:30 AM EST

Posted by Holden Oliver at October 18, 2007 11:59 PM


From my perspective I do not see smarter companies. I see limiting legislation and arbitration. I am not saying all is bad, it is just that the cause of the decline might not be so well deserved.

Posted by: Chuck Newton at October 15, 2007 03:49 PM

Yes! I see far too many cases where it appears that a client was not given a realistic evaluation of their case before suit was filed or before mounting an all out defense. Competent lawyers are not afraid to tell their clients the truth - whether the clients want to hear it or not. Perhaps these lawyers lack sufficient knowledge or experience to know the truth. Or perhaps they find it difficult to tell a client what the client does not want to hear. But each case deserves a full, early evaluation and each client needs to understand the pros, cons, and costs of litigation before launching nuclear war.

Posted by: John Day at October 16, 2007 05:00 AM

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