Published on:

Weed-whacking litigation costs: arbitration clauses, staffing, and digesting transcripts

The law office of Vincent DiCarlo posted a short piece entitled “how to reduce the high cost of litigation” (  All the advice mows down the weeds of excess litigation costs, but a few seemed especially cutting edge. 

On the bugaboo of wasteful staffing, DiCarlo offers a rule of thumb: “If you have more than one lawyer and one paralegal regularly working on your case, and the litigation is unlikely to result in a judgment of more than half a million dollars, you should ask your lawyer about staffing.”  Sounds like good guidance to me.  I wonder if anyone has looked at total billers in relation to the plausible judgment range; does two per half million dollars or so sound plausible?

Use customized arbitration clauses, says DiCarlo, and explains clearly in two pages why they are so flexible and effective. 

DiCarlo slashes at the weed of digesting transcripts in an era of powerful text-searching software.  Digests cost wads of money but can’t beat search software.  (I wonder if the brain of

John Henry sometimes can outdo the machine of search engines.)  Another cost saver concerns calculating the difference between the trial value of a case and its settlement value. 

Some of DiCarlo’s more substantive recommendations I can’t evaluate: for healthy and friendly witnesses, use written statements instead of depositions; answer instead of demurring; don’t seek preliminary relief unless you need it, have a good chance at success, and deem the cost worth it; and purge your complaints of fanciful causes of action.