If you are initiating or defending against litigation, you should be looking not only for an experienced trial lawyer but also for a firm whose approach to litigation is innovative, cost effective and meets your needs. The attorneys at Keegan & Baker, LLP provide hands-on litigation services to clients in San Diego County and throughout Southern California. We have built a record of success through employment of a six point litigation strategy:
1. Customized litigation plans: We know that each case and client is unique. Therefore, the first step is sitting down with our clients, discussing and honestly evaluating their risks and goals. Some clients want a collaborative and negotiated resolution while others want an aggressive “win at all costs” strategy. We can customize a plan to meet the entire spectrum setting forth what we believe to be both necessary and optional steps towards achieving those goals. See our Cost Containment section.
2. Prompt case preparation: We know that lawsuits can be stressful, time consuming and costly and that timely resolution is often a primary goal. We immediately lay the groundwork for success by creating litigation and discovery plans to keep us accountable to you in bringing your matter to resolution. You will have the direct contact information for your attorney and we strive to return all communications the same business day.
3. Technological sophistication: We maintain advanced computer and document production systems to assist us in serving you and preparing for litigation. All of our research and communications are computer-based with online client access, saving clients’ time and money. Unlike many law firms, we do not operate our copy or fax service as a profit center.
4. Alternative dispute resolution: The truth is settlement is oftentimes the most cost effective solution, which is why the vast majority of cases settle. Although we prepare every case for the possibility of trial, we are very effective at negotiating creative resolutions and preparing clients for arbitration, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures when appropriate.
5. Aggressive litigation: Not all cases settle. We have a track record of winning cases at trial, and we have earned our reputation by aggressively protecting our clients’ interests. Being aggressive does not mean engaging in unnecessary fights and dragging cases out to earn greater fees; it means taking smart, assertive steps focused on successful case conclusion.
6. Appeals: Appeals are very rarely necessary. However, if necessary, we are fully prepared to pursue appeals of adverse decisions.
Litigation is often unexpected and its costs are budget busters. We are keenly aware of its impact on your business and the need to control costs. Therefore, we have adopted certain practices and case management techniques to achieve this goal:
Unlike many law firms:
1. We do NOT have exorbitant overhead expenses in an effort to impress you and justify equally exorbitant hourly rates. Our rates are typically in the lower end of the spectrum based on similarly experienced attorneys in San Diego County. We can achieve that through lower overhead and profit expectations.
2. We do NOT demand excessive retainers.
3. We do NOT operate our administrative services as a profit center. We copy and send only what is necessary and charge reasonable amounts for large copy jobs. We agree that charging for fax transmittals is appalling.
4. We do NOT engage in any unnecessary editing or law and motion practice to generate excessive fees. We will seek your approval before filing motions, sending subpoenas or taking depositions.
5. We do NOT separate our billing into as many rounded entries as possible to increase billable hours. Instead, we will track the total amount of time expended on your matter for the entire day, rounded to the nearest 10 minute increment.
6. We do NOT charge full rate for travel time. We understand that travel time is far less demanding than other attorney work and should be billed as such. Depending on the travel requirements, travel is usually without charge or at reduced rates.
7. We do NOT have minimum billing goals for our attorneys. In many firms, attorneys are billing unnecessary time to files just to meet their minimum monthly goals.
8. We do NOT bill for administrative, instructional or educational time. Although legal research is reasonable and necessary in nearly every matter, dividing up administrative, instructional or educational time or expense among active clients is a common practice that is appalling.
9. We do NOT bill for unexplained service entries such as merely “telephone call” or “review.” Instead, our entries will always include an explanation for the purpose of the entry so that you can be sure it was reasonable and necessary.
10. We do NOT hire any expert or incur any large expense on your behalf without your prior consent.