It’s Law – Episode 9: What is the real cost to litigate a case? Dec 19, 2023

It’s Law – Episode 9: What is the real cost to litigate a case? Dec 19, 2023

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Transcript

00:04
Hello, and welcome to the It’s Law Podcast. Today’s episode nine, we’re going to talk about what the real cost is to litigate a case. I’m Richie Edwards from FR Law Group, I’ll be hosting today. With me is Troy Froderman, and you heard a lot from Troy and lucky to hear again from him, and we have actually a surprise guest today, Peter Liefer from PrimeView. It’s a surprise to Peter that he’s going to be on here. He was here for another meeting, and, and we drag him in. So he’s going to hopefully provide a the perspective from somebody who is somewhat shocked, maybe about what litigating a case might be. So, you know, what we want to do today is to educate all of you going into a lawsuit, if you’ve never been involved before, what it’s going to cost, what sorts of things you should ask your attorney when you’re deciding who to hire, you know, what they plan to do pre suit what they plan to do as far as depositions and discovery, and how they plan to minimize costs where possible, and what sort of things they expect to cost a lot of money as far as expenses in time. So we’ll get right into that. But in your experience, you know, how surprising is it to people when they get you know, the first set of bills, and they’ve started a lawsuit, and they’re going after a bunch of money. But wow, when that hits? I’m

01:21
very surprised. And in fact, this is a timely topic, because I had this very conversation a few hours ago with a client who is new to the world if you call it that of litigation. And her eyes were open very wide during that conversation. Peter, when he came in, said, what do you mean real cost of litigation, and we were basically giving him a real thumbnail sketch of this discussion. And he also was surprised. And so most people, they look at suits or some other TV show, they think, all right, you get the case on Monday, take a deposition on Tuesday, and you’re in the courtroom on Wednesday, and then fireworks and cases resolved next episode, right? So that’s not right. That’s not quite how it works, and getting the checks even longer than you would think. So it’s extremely important that if you find yourself at a crossroads where you’re going to be likely involved in a lawsuit. First and foremost, treat it like you’re going to get surgery and don’t land with the first lawyer who you interview with, again, get in a range of opinions and opportunities. And maybe back in the day, long, long time ago, lawyers were generalists. And a lawyer one day might be handling a medical malpractice claim and the next day, handling a worker’s comp claim. And then the third day handling attacks matter. That’s not the world that we live in. Everybody specializes. So if you have a lawsuit that’s that arises out of an insurance claim. Don’t interview lawyers that do tax law, or Labor Employment. Likewise, if you have a tax matter, you shouldn’t really be interviewing me. So make sure that you do your homework, pretty much everybody is on well, everybody’s on the internet, you can do your homework before you meet with a lawyer, Yelp get a cert reviews as well, I don’t know if anybody really pays attention to them or not. But I think you get the factor is make sure that you’re comfortable with who you’re hiring. In there are a lot of factors that come into play. So before you even file the lawsuit, there’s a cost even before meeting with a lawyer. So So what are some of those? Well, the cost is first of all, whatever your out of pocket, obviously. So let’s say your out of pocket $100,000. Are you going to spend $200,000 to get $100,000? Right? The answer is yes. If you didn’t do your homework and put a strict budget on your lawyer, the answer might very well be yes. And that’s obviously not what you want

04:25
if I can ask some dumb questions so I’m looking for a lawyer I’ve seen there’s lots of good glitzy glamorous looking websites and stuff like that I go find somebody that they know that isn’t a generalist you know, you know, so somebody’s usually related to business if that’s the area I’m gonna go into. I looked at maybe their reviews and stuff like that, and they seem to have a combination of stellar reviews and some because some people just you know, this is the way this skin Halloween. What kind of questions do I ask the guy or a person? More than or whatever it is,

05:00
I think that the some real general questions that you can ask is what’s your track record of representing clients on this specific issue? Okay, I don’t want to be against any

05:21
especially if it’s something that sink or swim right here your operations. So you want proof? How many times? Have you been involved in dealing with a nonsolicitation? Dispute? How many times have you been involved? Where the question dealt with an additional insured endorsement? You don’t want.

05:53
And you’ll get a good deal more about your case than that lawyer. Sure. Now, he may have the he or she may have the will, hopefully has the experience that you don’t have, regarding the, you know, how you handle those issues, but you know, what the issues are, right. So make sure you’re hitting somebody that you feel comfortable, has a good grasp of that area of the law understands, and you communicate well with one another, in that you have an understanding in writing a written fee agreement as to what the scope of their engagement is. Okay, and hold them accountable to that. Okay.

06:33
I think there’s another point on top of what Troy said about, it kind of goes hand in hand with finding the right person and the right firm, but also the cost. And I think that’s questions about you know, after you’ve gotten what experience they have, have they done these cases? What’s their track record? Do you think go to trial? It’s, you know, what, what’s their sort of strategy? How do they like to litigate a case? Are they trying to achieve an early settlement? Or are they trying to take it all the way to the end and get to trial and set on the courthouse steps as it were? What is their track record? And what is their strategy, because that will dictate if it’s something you want to get involved with their personality, but also a lot of the cost, right? Because there’s choice it, there’s going to be cost right from the beginning. But sometimes we spend a little bit of money early, we get an early settlement, and everybody’s very happy. If the lawyer’s strategy is, you know, take it all the way to trial, before you settle, you might lose out on a Delta that you could have got that you instead spent on fees. So I think that’s also an important thing to ask right from the beginning, how they plan on

07:33
litigating. And with that also is expecting them to provide you with a budget, how much is this going to cost me? Now? Lawyers? The legal field is one of the few areas in commerce, where when you ask that question, you don’t get a real good answer. Okay, so, Doctor, too much your surgery’s gonna cost you go by car, you know what the value is? So I heard somebody say this at a conference one time and I agree with it. If you ask the lawyer, look, here’s the issue that we’re going to hire you to do. Give me an expectation of what is going to cost. If the lawyer can at least give you some answer, that gives you a way that you can then prepare for that expense, then I think the response is, what if you’re the expert in this issue, and you don’t know how much it’s gonna cost? How am I supposed to know, so that I can budget for this, right? Because there’s that and I tell this to our associates all the time, nothing is more annoying to the client, than to be surprised. And to be surprised by a bill to be seen as my evidence that we didn’t share, almost like the bait and switch, you come into the lawyer gung ho the first day, we’re gonna do this for you, we’re gonna take care of everything, sign this, we’ve got your back in the seat about your you need to grant a budget, they’ve exceeded the budget, and they come to you and say, by the way, you need to sell you got some serious holes in your case. That’s terrible. So the very beginning you need to set expectations, right? Unless, if

09:31
I’m gonna if I’m talking to the lawyer or law firm about what the case is. And I say the things I would want to know is like, hey, is this like, I’m gonna make the guy, you know, pay, or I just want to get this done and complete, and it’s, you know, off my chest is a word in a way that works for everybody. So those are ways that if I know that going into that’s going to give more guidance to the lawyer about what he or she should take. So yes, and then also for them, you Your views? Then I said, Okay, great. So I want to go. I’m making this up. I just want to get this settled and taken care of. And you know, what budget? What’s a realistic budget that you can stand behind? It’s going to give me a breakdown of what these expenses should be. I know things happen, but it shouldn’t be based on what I share with you

10:16
right now. Right? And you shouldn’t, and you shouldn’t keep receiving an exception. Well, would they would anticipate this or are they? And there is some truth to that, that once you file a lawsuit, you can, it’s hard to control the other side. And maybe the other side’s reasonable, and they’re not going to do scorched earth. And maybe the other side isn’t reasonable. And you can’t just sit there and take all the punches because you have a budget, but you kind of communicate that with the client. Okay, something that I thought you were going to, which I even heard today, which so I think that my response after 34 years, is different than it would have been when I was early on in my practice. So a client today, a new client asked. Alright, so here’s my out-of-pocket expenses on this breach of contract claim. Let’s say it’s X. I’ve already incurred some fees with my other lawyer. So that’s why you’re going to incur expenses and fees. So we’ll call that Z. He said, How likely is it that at the end of the day, I’m going to collect on every X, Y, and Z, everything? And the answer is it’s not very likely at all. So the only way that you’re going to get Z our attorneys fees and costs is the other side has just completely botched the case or the other side, destroyed evidence or something that’s so damning that they’ll pay anything to get out of the case. Otherwise, 99.9% of all cases settle. They settle. And basically, you end up eating whatever attorney fees you’ve incurred. Now, it’s sometimes you can bake them in there a little bit, but you’re not going to get 100%. The other way you’re going to get 100% is if you go to trial, and you go to trial, and you get a judgment, and then judgment awards, your attorney’s fees.

12:21
How realistic is that?

12:22
How often is not very often. So let me give you an example. Okay. And the reason why is you’re coming to me day one, you’re dead set, I’ll never settle for anything less than full value this case, right? And then we go to the scheduling conference with the court, which is usually some time off. But that’s where you have your trial set. And I come back to you, and I say, Peter, Today is December 19, 2023. Your trial date is June of 2025. Right? And then all of a sudden, you’re like, you’re pretty cool. Yes, yeah. You can do the math you like. Oh, hang on a second. Wow. So you’re entitled to prejudgment interest, but you have to prevail to get that stuff to win in order to get the interest. Right. Yeah. And so then, you know, Peter says, maybe I’ll take something less than 100%. Right. And so it’s it’s the value of time, resources, and money. Got it. So an expense that people don’t expect, but it’s real, is time. Yeah. And the resources that we have to pull away the Senate, your lawsuit with a competitor, and they want to take for depositions of your people, we need to pull them aside, meet with them, you need them on this project over here, because we’re not making you money. For a while, you’re writing his checks, right? And taking all your people who would help to pay for those checks. So that’s an important time consideration. That just the resources that you’re going to lose the aggravation of it. There’s some value to that, right? Yep. And so I think one of the things that people don’t appreciate, is it before you file a complaint, the lawsuit, you have those costs, but let’s say that it’s a construction claim. Well, you need to go out and hire an expert, really to begin with, to do claims analysis. And that’s an expense before you can file the lawsuit. Oh, okay. Yeah, cuz you want to be ready. And in that particular arena and construction field, claims analysis is critical to prosecuting those claims.

14:46
Okay. So I have to so I’m paying the lawyer. I’m retaining him for this. In order in the construction side of things, I’ve got to also send out an expert resume Yes, to go out there and look at the damages or whatever I think is appropriate. They come back and say yes, this is clearly wrong, or no, or whatever their result is. Right. And so I’m paying for that person, too. So yes, it’s it’s not a what is it? Typical person like that cost? So

15:09
again, it depends on the value of the case. We’ve got a case right now, where the that claims analysis builds volumes of notebooks.

15:20
Wow. Okay. I’m sure he’s not the $10 earner.

15:25
Or you can sense that that’s, you know, great expense, right.

15:34
So the client is the plaintiff the person suing or asking for is he’s writing the checks for all of the announcement claims. And

15:42
then he faced the law firm to review the analysis course. So, of course, that’s why getting a budget is imperative. Okay. I have to make

15:50
sense. I mean, if you’re going after the set of money, and you think you’re gonna win it, it makes sense that you can do this. Now, will insurance cover any of this stuff? Or no? How does that work now? Really.

15:59
So there back in the day, there were lines of policies that were kind of an underwritten to handle litigation, but those early never made much of a splash. They do have for plaintiffs cases. I mean, everybody knows about now litigation funders. Okay. So you have private equity groups who come in. So

16:23
if the case is strong enough, they’ll write you a check for a portion of that for an exchange for what could be the result?

16:29
Correct. And they usually want that significant kicker. You borrow $1? They want $10? Back? Okay. So and but it’s nonrecourse. So if you don’t win, you don’t have to pay back the money. Okay. So you’re gambling? Yeah, it’s so Arizona, which is good. It used to be that the only legalized form of gambling in Arizona was trying a case.

16:59
Okay. So

17:00
Troy that we’ve kind of got now around to you talked about the expert that claims investigation. And that’s sort of an important part of what’s the suit going to cost because you’re going to, you know, they come to us, people hire us and they want to file a lawsuit, you want to sue the person who’s wronged you. And it takes a while to get there. You know, you’ve mentioned in the construction case, you need to do an analysis and hire an expert. But even non-construction came to do a thorough analysis of all the documents and emails and an interview, and maybe people might need someone to investigate it to really see how strong is this. What’s the real story, before we jump in and file a lawsuit that maybe isn’t as strong or, or we can make stronger by our investigation. So that initial expense can be expensive. But it’s also I think, very important because it can really lay the foundation for a strong case, or help you avoid pitfalls that you might run into because you’ve done your investigation, you kind of know how to direct the lawsuit to get there. And that’s, I think, something that, at least before I kind of really started into this a few years ago, didn’t have an appreciation for is how much money spent early on can be significant, but also gonna be maybe the most valuable expense you have.

18:17
So, even before the lawsuit, there can be other types of expenses. So we were dealing with one earlier this morning. So, say your client feels like it’s entitled to compensation from another company for services that were provided, in that that other entity withheld sums that were due to you. And you’ve asked for information to try to figure out how much is owed. And they just throw a huge electronic data down on you. And so you don’t want to hire the lawyers to go through and sift through the electronic information. So you need an expert to go through and do that that’s not inexpensive either. Got another thing that’s speaking of electronic information. So everybody obviously is in the cloud or has a server when lawsuits are being prepared preservation letters go out. So we send out a preservation letter for representing plaintiffs to the various defendants basically says, Don’t destroy your information. Retain all of it. If you have a document destruction program, put that on hold. If you don’t, and we find out you’ve destroyed or lead information go away, then we’re gonna get an instruction that tells the jury that you didn’t retain it because it was harmful to you. Yes. So, the cost of ESI is staggering. Especially if you’ve got a case where there’s just trucking. There’s a pair

20:00
of a terabyte and a half of data we have and, and that’s costing, you know, X dollars per gigabyte per month just to host on the platform so that everybody can review it. And it can be provided and it can be redacted when it needs to. And right. So in that scenario, what’s an expense could be $10,000 a month to store and easily electronic data could be a low-end cost

20:26
Is that electronic data that the plaintiff has to pay for? Or typically,

20:33
both sides will pay

20:34
for it. Right? Okay, if your data company they’ll have theirs, it starts with just your plaintiff’s data. So it’s maybe half of what it would normally be. And then once both sides exchange data, now you’re hosting double the amounts of data, is that

20:47
on a third-party, third-party platform, okay, so something that keeps it safe, some kind of authorized system or whatever, in addition to,

20:54
okay, good, and then you’re paying, right? So typically, we’ll review then in that in that platform, and it allows us to review and tag documents very helpful because we can then show you the three documents more quickly. You know, do depositions and things, but it’s a huge expense, and it can often dictate what you’re doing. And so, we talked a little about the pre-lawsuit things. So we’ve done every lawsuit. So part

21:18
of this, the strategy is, so I need to know what the budget is, I need to be aware of what your timeframe from this because if it’s a year on a system for that, you know, 25, you said that’s 120 grand, potentially, yeah, just on just data, just holding on to some ideas. Okay, great. And then, so the advantage, if I am starting this stuff up, and I’m aware of these things, you mentioned before this, the thing I want to touch on is the investing, you know, so there’s a whole set of by going in and spending the time and resources to get this stuff set up. And the beginning really gives us a pathway of like, okay, this is going to take if you want to wait till 2025, you’re going to spend two or $300,000 on data preservation quarters and stuff like that, or do you want to sell faster? Right, right. So that is because they’re paying the same or they’re paying lower fees and all that other stuff at the same time. Okay, that’s valuable. That’s a really good insight. So I need to know, I should have a good idea of, like, what are we willing to spend in order to potentially regret this thing? Or not? And that gives you any lawyers like an idea of like, okay, here’s what they’re looking

22:25
for. Right? In what should be right? Are we just trying to settle this pre-suit? Are we are we just maybe in certain cases, hey, it’s it’s a good sum of money, but it’s not worth the litigation. So are we just going to spend a few $1,000 initially to go back and forth and write a demand letter and try to lay out our case. So just try to get an early settlement, that can really dictate exactly what you said how you want to go about the case. And if you even do, or if you maybe want to try to settle early on. So that’s huge, then so say, we’ve done that, right? We’ve paid all that money upfront, and we just said, this is a good case, there’s a lot of money at stake, they have a strong case, let’s file a lawsuit. It’s, you know, that’s going to take a lot of time to file a good lawsuit that they can’t get out there. So your first initial expense filed the lawsuit, I don’t know, $10,000, maybe to draft and, and really make the lawsuit very strong right at the beginning of the case, right, another big expense as it gets started. And then those expenses start to roll right depositions, discovery, different things that can really increase while you’re getting to trial, right from this December date to June of 2025. Lecture, I think,

23:36
and not that. So this expense isn’t going to scare anybody, in light of what we’ve just been talking about. It’s best to file the complaint, right? The court charges us, so we charge you, of course. Right, depending on which court it is, it can be $300, it could be $500, just to allow us to file the complaint. And so, yes, you know, they have to make money too. So we in a previous podcast, the Maricopa County, which is where Phoenix is situated, the annual judicial budget for the Superior Court. $325 million. Okay. So, that’s just one county in one state. Right. So go So then moving forward. We have what’s called discovery. And while we may get to discover the other side, rather than filing the answer to the complaint, they may file a motion to dismiss, and then you got to battle all that out, which is expensive. At some point, they either get your case dismissed or the answer it. Then you go through this very long, arduous discovery process. Where you do disclosure statements, you exchange documents, you review the documents, you hire experts. Normally a case has a minimum of two experts can have more depending on the issues.

25:06
What is the typical expert cost? And that’s a range of, like, you know, depending on the neuroscience versus CPA, is is a range or what’s the biggest you’ve ever seen for

25:16
an expert. So it was a very large case where we had to have an insurance archeology firm, where the archaeologists had to go in and recreate hundreds of 100 years of insurance policies. And they had to go through boxes through the London market where they were finding slips of paper, and I think we that was like $350,000. Well, okay, let’s say your case is a million dollars, and we’re not sure what the issues are. But you could expect the expert fees to be close to $100,000. For expert, no, totally, I totally. Okay. Yeah. So the the thing that shocks people, we’re talking to you about this offline. So when you take a deposition, I think people have seen it on in movies or TV or they’ve had one themselves, it sworn testimony. So there’s this do not for taking everything down a transcript of any size, say the deposition is three hours long, the transcript is going to be around 1200 to $1,500. If somebody

26:27
typed this stuff, In the day of electronic data, where you can have this stuff translated on the fly, why do you still need us now?

26:34
That’s a different episode. Sorry. I don’t want to get my quarter, quarter French.

26:42
Got it? All right. Very good.

26:44
I think there are some good answers to that, I think. So there’s, there’s this one system back east, where they actually talk into a mask. So you’re giving your testimony while your environment are the repeating everything you’re saying. And it’s going into the machine. That’s crazy. Yeah, it’s very distracting, too. So, there are some occasions when you want to videotape a deposition. You know, maybe the witness won’t be available trial, maybe you think that the witness is going to be hostile, and you want to capture the moment. That video will cost anywhere from 1500 to $2,500. So you’ve got the

27:28
scripts and videographers doing the video is a different person because ever present your videographer, the

27:34
certified videographers, Peterlee for couldn’t come in and just take his home camera to be certified. I had to be trying to do that once and overwhelmed. So

27:46
it looks like it’s sort of

27:49
like pretty boring, though. You’re sitting there the whole time. So you got the transcript, you got the videographer cost, and then you have the attorneys fees, you’re going to pay me to take the deposition or to defend the deposition. So, each deposition easily can run anywhere from 5000 to $10,000.

28:10
In legal fees, or divide

28:14
all those three things in like choice saying that you’re paying whatever it is 3000 or $3,500. For this, and I’m referring to the younger for, and you’re paying for Troy’s time to be there for four hours. But if he does, if he does it, right, like Troy does, who’s gonna prepare beforehand, and he’s gonna spend time beforehand, oh, your time beforehand that you’re paying him because if he doesn’t prepare, then the money spent at the deposition is worthless, you’re not going to get any good information. And so what is this

28:39
Speedhack? So, like fifth grade, so you have to repair that’s make sense to me, way back in the day, I did high school debate and study all the cards. Yeah, but what are you looking for? How what do you when you’re doing that preparation? What is it you’re trying to find out or get ready to ask the questions about? I mean, we’ve already seen the movies, but

28:56
yeah, sure, what is the you review the documents that have been produced by the other side, you review the documents that you have, depending on the witnesses, you’re not going to get the witness as somebody who was an accountant, you’re not going to be looking at the contracts, you’re gonna break at the county records. So you want to be prepared because the whole idea of taking a deposition is to get the person’s knowledge but also to frame their testimony. So they’re locked in. Okay, and so you want to you need to know the case. Some lawyers do outlines. My way I do is I use the documents as my outline. Okay, so I have them all there. I’ve got highlighted my copies, and I just go through it. So

29:44
their emails back and forth, right, that are relevant to what was going on in the accountant base, reviewing the accounting records and, maybe, your report that the accountant created or all of these different things to get this person to say on the record. Yes, I did this. No, I didn’t do that. Yes. I have received this notice, you know, whatever the big issues are, are saying, here’s this document, it’s you saying sending this email on this date. And this is what you said, right? And this is important because of whatever, right? You’re really building your case, because like Trey said, they’re under oath. So you lock them in, and they can’t change it after the fact or they look really bad in front of the jury. And if you can discredit them. Also, I think if you do depositions, right, the hope is, you can get all that information out, maybe it helps to settle the case group, because it seems like okay, we’ve, we’re likely to win or our cases stronger after depositions. And it was beforehand, well,

30:33
that’s the next expense you have is taking the testimony that’s been produced, and filing a motion for summary judgment, which is basically saying to the court, there’s no genuine issue of material fact here. Everybody agrees on what the facts are. Their witnesses agree on what the facts are, and, therefore, apply the law to these facts. And we went,

30:57
got so So again, as a neophyte in this stuff, and hoping to stay that way. So I’ve got an issue. I do a deposition. And I’ve been involved in a couple of depositions as witnesses for different you know, things for web and stuff like that movie done for plants, and usually sent me it’s usually that there’s three or four different people. So how many depositions typically like that I’m going to be paying for if it’s me? Well, we’re

31:24
probably going to take five or six, and the other side probably does. So we have to be there and defend the deposition

31:32
and minimum of 10. And then, what’s your larger case? What’s the most you guys ever did?

31:38
Probably 200. Well, there’s a water adjudication matter here and state that’s been going on since, I think, 1970 something. And there have been 1000s of depositions. That’s obviously not a good example. Normally, no more than 10 depositions, usually around five, depending on the type of case, the rules of civil procedure have really clamped down on Discovery abuses they used okay, that you could just have a witness there and talk to them and ask them questions for days on end. Now, there are time constraints and limitations. So courts are have tried to dealt with abuses so that the expensive litigation can at least somewhat be curtailed somewhat.

32:29
So okay, so are that’s helpful. So I’m looking at roughly five or 10, depending upon what I’m dealing with. And then I’ve imagined larger, more complex cases involving more work. It’s gonna make a big difference in terms of who you would need to interview. Are you prepared to put it together? You framed it, you’re prepped for it, then you have that that information? And then you saw assume you summarize it afterward? Or what does it typically work? You don’t just when it’s done, then you’ve got all the data and stuff like that, or you summarizing the post-deposition information? Or is there some

33:02
is good question. It depends on the nature of your firm. If you’re representing insurance companies, where they hire you to defend people in accidents or other issues, they have a whole system of bureaucracy that requires summaries. Our clients don’t want they don’t want to pay for summary. And I don’t want to do it. So. So we’re so well. Our summaries are in the motion for summary judgment.

33:30
Okay.

33:31
That’s something we follow the court. Yeah.

33:33
So basically, you’ve done like you said, You’ve done the research, you said basically, okay, here’s all the information that supports why we are pursuing this case, legally, please just agree to that. And the other side can counter

33:45
they file it either file their own motion, right, or they file a response. Of course, they don’t they never agree with our position. Oh it, it’s up to the judge to determine whether the judge thinks that there’s no real issue as to what the facts are. And based on that, apply the law based on his face. Okay. Sadly, I think more often than not, though, people can create questions of fact, and so then you’re going to trial. A lot of cases are required to have mandatory settlement conferences, or mediations, and a lot of cases get resolved in that. But not until you’ve had all the discovery because if you do that mediation early on, you know, people are gonna bluff and say, oh, and so you, you need everything locked in, so that the mediator isn’t hoodwinked by you know, some. That’s not what the witness is gonna say at all. Actually, he did. So, assuming worst case scenario, you can’t sell. You’re going to trial right. So you In 2025, yes. So the cost for that are, normally, we retain a consultant to help us with the jury. But more along the lines of this, doing focus groups, where before the trial, we have a consultant who’s canvassed the marketplace and pays people like, I don’t know, $100 to come in and send in a focus group, it’s not a mock trial. Okay. But they’ve come in, and they’ve agreed that we’ll listen, we will, you know, just eat lunch leave. And then they provide us their feedback as to what arguments they thought were good for us and what arguments they didn’t like, what kind of certain witnesses, so that helps us then go to trial. So that focus groups can be anywhere from 25 to $50,000. Okay, or more, depending on how much but

36:04
the reason you’d spend that is you want to know how these things land on a potential jury, right? To get a sense that so we do a lot of that stuff in the marketing world is kind of like user, you know, user studies and stuff like that. Yeah, people look at they’re very similar.

36:17
So you don’t want to, once you don’t want to do is go through this tremendous expense and time, and then assume that the juror will agree with you. So you want somebody who’s going to be in the same position as sitting in the jury box and hearing all this for the first time in only hearing what’s being presented. And then they bring in their own thoughts, their own backgrounds or experiences. So you’re hoping to take that say, Okay, thank you. And then when the jury gets a panel, you go back and look, but this is just like this focus group. Remember, this is what she said to look at. Oh, okay. And so that’s why we do it. The expense for the trial itself, you’re gonna have probably to lawyers, a paralegal trials are, you know, they’re fun, but they’re, I think clients are shocked when other shocked when they see just the amount of time stress energy it takes because you’re working literally around the clock, the

37:25
amount of documents you take up to the trial, right binders and boxes of documents to show the different witnesses

37:32
to this day and age, you still using boxes in the

37:36
courtroom. Okay, so we’re fortunate in the county we practice in, it’s electronically configured. Okay. But if you’re in, you know, rural town, yeah, maybe not.

37:47
You might have to take a hard copy. I mean, we just have a trapline, up in Coconino. They require hard copies of all of the documents. We got to send a copy to the judge a few weeks in advance, and then you’ve got to have copies for the witnesses. Right. So that can be the

38:04
trial, the consultant to do the panel thing is that an average thing, like most people, will do that kind of thing to figure out what the it depends. Okay. Is there a certain size case where that person doesn’t come in? I’d say

38:16
it’s got to at least be a million dollar case. Okay.

38:21
They knows where you’re looking for at least $9. From the defendant? Yes. All right.

38:25
Right. It’s fine, though, on the documents. So we had a case in St. Louis County, this goes back a long time ago. In the judge in that case was Jimmy Hoffa his daughter. And, okay, it so in justice, personality. in that courtroom, they heard everything they heard, traffic’s it was just ridiculous. They have we sat there, we’re getting ready to argue a discovery motion how they won’t give us that document. In the case before us was a sentencing of a guy who murdered two young girls. She said, Yeah, we’re like, I don’t want to be the person standing up here arguing documents. Document. Yeah. Judge. All right. Anyway, back to Jimmy Hoffa his daughter. So you were asking about hard copies. Right. We this was a case that involved 30 different insurance companies have said 75 years’ worth of coverage. You can imagine the volume of documents, we show up on the very first day of the scheduled conference. She walks in, she says, Well, I just had this case for one day, and I already have a banker’s box. She said what’s going on here? So not only your clients show shocked,

39:49
but judges can beat me sometimes the judge in theory has to go through should be going through that information. Not really.

39:59
You would think So, but no, that’s too much going on. Right. So let’s say you will try to wrap this up, but you say that you the trial, you win. Yay. Right? Right. They can appeal. Okay. And an appeal can be nine months to a year. And then if they lose that they can appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court. And that we may have to post a bond in most instances, to cover the the judgment, but you’re still sitting here waiting.

40:30
So what’s it so I when the case gave me, I said, nine bucks, they, you know, they have to pay nine bucks. I’m assuming they don’t show the check with a check the next day. But don’t wait on this. It takes me to get the money and, and or What’s that process?

40:44
So if they do not appeal, and so they could file a Motion for Judgment, notwithstanding the verdict, which is basically saying, Hey, you’re right.

40:55
But it shouldn’t have been

40:56
Jerry was the area was wrong. Judge just regard him? Right. Okay.

41:01
Sure. Normally, that doesn’t take too long to deal with that, though. Let’s, let’s say that they don’t appeal. They agree that the burden is what it is, probably within 30 to 45 days. But that rarely happens, because you don’t have that many cases that go to trial. And then when they do go to trial, there’s usually an appeal.

41:28
Okay. Which is more time, right?

41:35
So in the appeal side, how long is that using? Well,

41:40
if they went all the way to the Arizona Supreme Court, you could be waiting for one to two years.

41:46
And so, if you could get the winning judgment, how do you get paid?

41:50
So normally, if people have, so if you’re faced with a judgment, and you have not appealed it, then you pay it pretty quickly, so you can get a satisfaction of the judgment? Because you don’t want that out there on your record.

42:05
Okay, so it’s up to you, and then other times where they don’t pay you. And I’ve heard stories of judgment and

42:11
bankruptcy. Oh, sure. You have that too. Yeah. There’s that aspect to it. Hopefully, you’ve picked a defendant that you don’t expect to file for bankruptcy, right? It’s collectible.

42:23
And that goes into that early evaluation case, they were gonna get a million bucks, but right, I’m gonna have it. Is it worth, you know, spending it, they’re just gonna bankrupt, you know, filed for bankruptcy, because there’s nothing in the company. That’s a big considering, right. Unfortunately, nice. Okay,

42:42
so there you go. So the majority

42:44
of the cases when, when people are coming to you, they’re hoping to settle out and get some kind of thing, as opposed to go through this fun experience of going through a full trial unless there’s so I imagine that the Court hears things that are more at stake and less at stake right before the cases.

43:03
So the real issue there is when the client comes to you to the lawyer in the first instance, more often than that, emotion is the overriding factor. Maybe not the overriding factor, but that that factor that’s most difficult for us to unwind, unwind, it’s a good way to put it, got it, we can deal with the objective, and here’s how it will play out. But I can’t get around you know, feeling like they’ve been wrong,, especially with what we do, suing insurance companies that people are paid my premiums, I’ve never been late. I’ve never made a claim I make a claim now, and they deny it. What was the purpose of having insurance? Right. Good.

43:58
So that’s, uh, you know, the cost of litigating case Peter, thank you for being here.

44:02
Good to have Dmitry.

44:05
No, it’s good to you know, we deal with it talk about every day. Somebody who is in a position that people we’re talking to you might be, and like we say, we hope we never meet you enough. It’s probably better for you, but right if we do appreciate you going to our website, you know, calling us if you need anything frlawgroup.com this has been episode nine. Thank you.