The current issue of New England In-House features Russell Beck’s guide for controlling legal costs, called “Prevent runaway legal fees with proper planning.”

It is a well-known fact that litigation can be a costly undertaking. In the article, Russell Beck offers a variety of practical tips to consumers of legal services for ways to keep a lid on legal fees.

For instance, in order to prevent runaway fees, Russell suggests that there should be clear lines of communication drawn at the beginning of the engagement:

The initial conversation should include a thorough discussion of your objectives and expectations. Failing to have a clear understanding of everyone’s perspectives is a recipe for problems.

For example, you may be extremely angry with the opposing party because it breached some significant contractual or fiduciary obligation. Nevertheless, unless there are other business objectives at work, you generally do not want to spend more than is necessary to bring the case to a swift and favorable resolution.

But the lawyer may hear your anger and assume you want scorched-Earth litigation, or perhaps that is the attorney’s general approach. While that approach may be what some clients want, if it is not what you are expecting, you may find that the lawyer has engaged in extensive work that is unnecessary to succeeding on the merits and which has the deleterious effect of causing the other side to dig in its heels, rather than making the payment as part of an early settlement.

Not only will you be disappointed with the result, but you will be even less happy having to pay for it.

Accordingly, the lawyer needs to understand your goals and expectations in order to come up with a strategy that best accomplishes the client’s goals and that meets its expectations.

The complete article is here. For more information about strategies for containing legal fees and what constitutes reasonable attorneys’ fees, click here.

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Beck Reed Riden LLP is Boston’s innovative litigation boutique. Our lawyers have years of experience at large law firms, working with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and individuals. We focus on business litigation and labor and employment. We are experienced litigators and counselors, helping our clients as business partners to resolve issues and develop strategies that best meet our clients’ legal and business needs – before, during, and after litigation. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and help you. Read more about us, the types of matters we handle, and what we can do for you here.