Early case assessment (ECA) spelled out

According to two lawyers at Spilman Thomas & Battle, ECA means “making a concerted effort to complete all the major work within the first 90 to 120 days of a lawsuit’s filing.” Counsel to Counsel, Jan. 2006 at 9. An upfront investment pays off at the back end.

“In these first weeks, counsel identify the types of discovery needed, interview key witnesses, and determine the strengths and weaknesses of the case. Outside counsel can provide an evaluation of the opposing counsel, judge and jury verdicts in the jurisdiction and formulate a detailed budget.”

Accelerating the most important analyses at the outset lets inside counsel set strategy early, understand better the cost-benefit calculation, and focus on resolution rather than protracted adversarial wrangling.

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