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Economic pressure is felt in virtually every corner of the litigation and claim business. Claim supervisors and department heads are required to search every nook and cranny to find ways to reduce costs. To find answers, one could ponder a phrase that is almost an oxymoron: You have to spend money to save money.

At a time when staffs are being reduced and defense firms are being asked to scale back on the cost of billable hours, it may at first seem strange to allocate additional funds for pretrial research. There are many reasons, however, to spend this money in order to bring the costs of litigation down.

Virtually all of the law firms the industry employs are highly competent, ethical, and professional. They are also extremely competitive; one does not become a successful defense attorney by merely walking away from fights. They are out there to win and to protect your interests. Unfortunately, the very competitive edge that makes for effective attorneys sometimes has a cost to the client. Some cases simply need to be disposed of early before hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent preparing a defense that is simply not going to work. The question therefore becomes, “How do we know which cases have to be settled and which cases should go to trial?”

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