Much has been written about the use of a project attorney to maximize billing profits and minimize overhead expenses for law firms. Many firms use project attorneys to take on some of the day-to-day operations and smaller tasks to free up the time of staff attorneys and partners for higher profit activities. However, the versatility of project attorneys should not be overlooked in the case of trials. A major trial is a Herculean task, and even relatively simple cases can involve thousands of pages of documents, multiple witnesses and countless hours of preparation. Consider the benefits of having the extra-legal talent for the following aspects of going to trial:
The period leading up to a major hearing or trial can be overwhelming. This phase of litigation is extremely time-consuming and often more detail-oriented than many lawyers tend to anticipate. The deadlines get progressively tighter, and numerous details need to be settled at this stage. A project lawyer, brought in at the outset, can help with discovery, preparing witness questions and exhibit lists, trial briefs, jury instructions, anticipating evidentiary issues or objections, and any other preparations required for the upcoming trial.
If the firm has a major case that is too big for one attorney to try alone or if the first chair attorney doesn’t have extensive jury trial experience, a qualified project attorney can guide the process from start to finish. A contract second chair attorney can help implement the trial strategy, offer support and ensure that everything runs smoothly throughout the trial.
Being in two places at the same time is impossible, but attorneys are often required to do just that. Required activities such as taking depositions can often consume entire days of valuable time that could be spent on higher-return activities. A project attorney can handle depositions, conduct interviews, and site visits, appear for routine court hearings, defend a deposition or represent clients at a settlement.
Document-intensive litigation can overwhelm a law firm’s daily operations. Furthermore, the increase in client communication prior to a trial can consume significant amounts of an attorney’s time and resources. Temporary paralegals, legal assistants or legal secretaries hired specifically for trial-related work can keep the documents organized, the parties informed, and the case running smoothly and on deadline.
Sometimes a trial consumes the time and attention of the law firm’s entire staff and pulls resources away from day-to-day operations. Everything from billing to marketing to client communications can suffer. Hiring legal office support staff for the duration of the trial can minimize the disorganization and fallout when the trial concludes, and business must return to normal.
Collier Legal Search is a full-service legal staffing company that specializes in placing well-credentialed partners, associates and legal professionals at every level in law firms and corporations. Our experience in the industry and unique approach to building our candidate database consistently delivers results that clients can depend on.
We are committed to maximizing success for our clients and our candidates. Contact us at 832-239-5253 to give us the opportunity to work with you.