Litigation support can be the deciding factor in the success (or lack thereof) of any case. A lawyer may opt for this additional support in order to allow him to concentrate more fully on key aspects of the case. The support team offers additional research assistance and guidance in order to help the lawyer make the best possible case for his client.
Why is support necessary during the litigation process?
Litigation is often extremely complicated. Usually the process starts with one party filing a complaint of some kind against another party. The other party will then be given a time frame in which they must respond. Lawyers for both parties will begin preparing, receiving and exchanging documentation: taking affidavits, collecting data, and filing court motions. Eventually, if the parties cannot come to an agreement, they will present their cases to a judge during a trial. Due to the massive exchange of information which occurs during litigation, the process can be extremely streamlined by taking on a support team.
What is litigation support?
A skilled litigation support team offers effective trial and pretrial assistance. This comprehensive process starts the minute a lawyer accepts a new client, and continues until the case is concluded. Through the added expertise of a legal support team, a single lawyer may find themselves with many cumulative years’ worth of knowledge at their disposal.
A good team will be part private investigator, part researcher, and part paralegal. Their job is to gather information, comb through research, and collect case details. They then boil all the raw data down and present it in a much more manageable form to the case lawyer, along with their suggestions. A good team will include specialists or experienced professionals who are able to contribute much-needed insight in their fields. Also, with the rapid changes in technology these days, it’s vital to have team members with experience in ediscovery, digital forensics and other types of high-tech discovery. Members of a litigation support team may even be called as expert witnesses if the case goes to trial.
Who provides this service?
Support may be provided by an individual as part of their regular job description. One example of this would be a court reporter. Other lawyers within the same law firm may also serve as members of a support team. Some law offices may hire an independent consultant specifically for support assistance. There are even support training programs offered by firms who specialize in litigation support consultations.
TERIS, one of the premier litigation support companies available specializes in providing the utmost in high-quality, cost-effective support within the industry, including:
- Court reporting
- Consulting and project management
- Document imaging
- Digital forensics
- Electronic discovery
There are many other services available through TERIS as well, all of which are designed to facilitate specific client needs.
When it’s down to the wire
During a trial, it’s absolutely imperative to be well-prepared. A support team not only helps the lead counsel during the weeks or months leading up to the trial, but also makes sure that all applicable evidence is easily accessible and all other materials are in order before the proceedings begin. A well-organized presentation can be the deciding factor when all other factors are considered equal. In short, the sooner counsel involves litigation support in the process, the more likely they are to win their case.