A lot of times, if you have a trade secrets case, for example, you may file a motion for a preliminary injunction early on. If you are successful, you can have the defendant temporarily enjoined from contacting your customers or using your trade secret information for the whole time during the discovery process, until it’s finally adjudicated at trial. It is not easy to get those motions granted, but if you do, it could result in a settlement. On the other hand, if there are legitimate defenses and viable issues, a lot of times people dig in and spend a lot of money on attorney’s fees and costs to litigate cases and don’t settle. It very much depends on the case.
Is It Better To Settle The Case Instead Of Putting The Decision In The Hands Of A Judge Or A Jury?
There is always uncertainty in litigation. Once the parties have engaged in enough discovery and there are no more surprises, the smart approach is to go into mediation with a very experienced mediator and to try to get the case settled. It is always better to settle the case than to take the risk of losing at trial.
What Kind Of Outside Counsel Or Experts Do You Utilize In High Stakes Business Litigation Cases?
The only time I bring in outside counsel is if the case involves a certain area that needs a specific expertise, like patent infringement cases or other cases that involve highly technical issues.
Do Businesses Generally Keep Law Firms On Retainer Or Otherwise?
A lot of companies don’t do what they need to do to protect their intellectual property in general. When you have, for example, trade secret cases, your company has an obligation to maintain secrecy and make sure that the secrets are not disclosed to people other than as needed, and to ensure that confidentiality agreements are signed. A lot of businesses don’t follow those rules, don’t seek legal advice, and risk losing their trade secrets.
As an attorney, sometimes it turns out that your clients were very good at keeping their information secret and have done a lot to make your life easier. Other times, the clients don’t do these things and the case isn’t as clear. It all depends on how sophisticated the clients are in protecting their property and managing their business.
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