Early Case Assessment
A trial can be very expensive; in fact in most cases it makes more sense to settle the case out of court rather than going to trial. It is actually important to know ahead of time if it is even worth going to trial otherwise you are just wasting money. This is why all law firms need to do an early case assessment to determine if it makes sense financially to continue with the case.
Early case assessment is basically the process of determining how much it is going to cost to see a case through to the end. In most cases it will actually make more sense to settle the case rather than go to trial. This is mainly because of the high cost of going to trial. It can get very expensive, especially in the discovery phase. In fact most lawyers will attempt to make it as difficult and expensive as possible for the other side to go to trial. That way they will be more likely to settle the matter. There are early case assessment specialists who are frequently brought in at the start of the proceedings to determine how much it will cost to go to trial. They can then recommend if it makes more sense to settle.
Since the most expensive part of any trial is the discovery process this is where most early case assessment is focused. It is mainly about figuring out what kind of information you are going to need to go to trial and how difficult it is going to be to get it. They will also factor in how much it is going to cost to analyze all of the relevant information. Based on this they will be able to determine how much it should cost to go to trial. If a settlement can be reached that makes more financial sense the consultant will normally recommend that be done.
Like a lot of things these days early case assessment is being automated. There are now software programs out there that can analyze what documents are going to be necessary and what is involved in getting them and analyzing to determine the financial risk of going to trial. While this can be helpful it is rarely a good idea to rely on the software to do the job by itself. You are going to want to have an expert involved in the decision making.
If you are going to hire an early case assessment specialist to work on your case you are going to want to make sure that you find somebody who has a lot of experience in the field. It can be very expensive if you get this wrong so you can't afford to have any mistakes made. This is why most firms hire a specialist specifically for this; it will help ensure that they make the right decision.