In previous blog posts, Colorado Business Litigation Risks & Colorado Business Litigation Risks, Part II, I listed some of the risks for a corporation that hires an hourly fee lawyer to handle its “high risk/high reward” commercial litigation. I pointed out that prudent corporations understand the risk of losing the case and should not be saddled with huge attorneys fees on top of that loss. Smart corporations know that they need a contingent fee lawyer who becomes their “partner” and only gets paid if the corporation gets paid. Hiring a law firm by the hour puts the corporation at risk. The hourly fee lawyer will continue to bill – win, lose or draw.
However there are more important reasons for hiring an injury lawyer in
high risk/high reward business litigation:
Reason #1: You need a risk-taker. The injury lawyer, unlike the traditional commercial lawyer, is a risk-taker
by nature. His law practice is based upon a risk-taking business model.
There is no conflict of interest between the client and the lawyer. If
a fair settlement can be obtained, the lawyer wants to settle early so
that he gets paid and the client wants to settle early to avoid additional
expenses. If a fair settlement can’t be obtained, the contingency
lawyer wants to push forward to get a fair recovery, as does the client.
Reason #2: You need a lawyer with courtroom experience.
“Experience counts” and not just any experience. The law firm
who bills by the hour may have a lot of experience in accounting, tax,
corporate law and financing. This technical background will not be a difference-maker
in high risk/high reward litigation, though. The skills required in high
stakes litigation are the skills of a trial lawyer who has tried dozens,
if not hundreds of lawsuits. The trial lawyer is comfortable in the stress
of a courtroom fight. Being at ease in the courtroom allows him/her to
react quickly. There are many commercial lawyers who rarely get in the
In a later post we will consider the importance of hiring a lawyer who
can simplify your business litigation and “humanize” your company.