What is Litigation Support?
How does litigation support work?
What are the essential elements you should know!
In this article, I will break down the meaning of Litigation Support so you know all there is to know about it!
Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!
Let’s look at the meaning of “litigation support” and see what it includes!
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What Is Litigation Support
Litigation support, also referred to as litigation assistance, is a term used in the legal industry to refer to various types of services offered to lawyers, attorneys, and law firms, in support of a lawsuit or disputed matter pending before a court or judicial body.
In other words, to help attorneys successfully handle a court case, litigation support firms or litigation support consultants provide specific services, as required by the case.
For example, you can have a litigation support firm handle the following aspects of a case:
- Case law research
- Review of exhibits
- Preparation of a fact summary
- Preparation of transcript summaries (digesting a deposition)
- Background checks
- Asset searches
- Accounting analysis
- Legal photography
- Forensic services
There are various reasons why attorneys engage support services in litigation, such as:
- Expedite the processing of a matter
- Outsource tasks due to lack of internal capacity for the attorney or the law firm to handle the workload by itself
- Find additional facts or evidence in support of the case
- Use specialized firms having specialized professionals and tools to deal with a certain aspect of the case such as electronic discovery
By outsourcing certain parts of a case to specialized professionals, the attorneys and law firms can focus their attention on the case without losing time dealing with ancillary tasks that are nonetheless crucial for the successful handling of the legal action.
Litigation support can be given in the context of a civil matter, criminal matter, a matter before an administrative body, or any form of judicial body or tribunal.
You can also have litigation consulting services offered in the course of the preparation of a hearing or event following the rendering of a judgment.
The complexity of a case, the needs of an attorney, the law firm’s capacity to handle various aspects of the case in-house, and the level of expertise needed will dictate whether or not an attorney may work with a litigation support firm.
Litigation Support Definition
What is litigation services or litigation assistance?
You can define litigation support services as follows:
Litigation support refers to different types of services offered to attorneys and law firms assisting them in the preparation, handling, and successfully litigating a current and pending case before the court or a judicial body.
As the name suggests, the process of “supporting” a “litigation matter” can include services such as:
- Legal research
- Valuation of property
- Evaluation of damages
- Forensic accounting
- Social media research
- Investigation services
- Record retrieval
- Subpoena services
Litigation support can cover a wide spectrum of tasks and activities.
The primary objective of litigation support is to provide attorneys and law firms the means to build a stronger case, better understand their case, have a more in-depth understanding of their case, and make a much stronger trial presentation.
How Does Litigation Services Work
Let’s look at how litigation support services work to better understand the notion.
Litigation refers to a lawsuit filed in court involving two or more parties, this can be civil litigation or criminal litigation.
The litigants may retain the services of an attorney or law firm to represent their interests in court.
In this process, the attorneys need to perform various tasks in order to review the facts of the case, investigate the matter, put together a litigation strategy, define the legal basis of the case, deal with witnesses, and eventually proceed to trial by presenting credible and impactive evidence to win the case.
For small litigation cases or simple ones, it may be possible that the attorney has the expertise and capacity to handle all aspects of the case preparation for trial and potentially following the trial.
However, larger and more complex cases may require litigation support services.
In that case, the attorney on file will consider what type of assistance he or she may need and find support professionals that can provide the assistance needed at an affordable price.
For example, the attorney may need to perform extensive legal research and find precedents or case laws that can support the legal theories of the case or perform statute research on various laws that may be applicable to the case.
There are cases where, in the context of the discovery, the attorneys may literally need to go through thousands, if not millions, of emails, electronic files, digital documents, and more.
In that case, the lawyers will need to work with firms offering e-discovery services allowing them to comb through all the data and find the relevant ones for their case.
Not only by working with an e-discovery service company can help expedite the review of thousands of pieces of files and emails but can also cost the client much less in fees.
Once the support services are performed, the attorney on record receives the legal research, statutory review, or e-discovery findings and will be able to adjust his or her litigation strategy or find additional arguments to win the case in the court of law.
Types of Support Services
What are the different types of services that may be offered by consultants or support professionals?
Litigation has gotten much more complex over the years.
You now have sophisticated companies dealing with unprecedented quantities of data and information that may be engaged in a lawsuit or legal case.
You may have criminal cases where the fact pattern must be studied in a unique way to understand how the crime was committed and what had really happened.
Litigation can be a major puzzle that needs to be solved and litigation support services allows attorneys on record to solve the mystery of their case or put all the pieces of the puzzle together.
Generally speaking, here are the different types of litigation support services that are offered to legal professionals:
- Subpoena services to serve hard-to-find witnesses or parties
- Citation services
- Record retrieval with different agencies, looking into public records and so on
- Trial preparation assistance such as trial boards
- Legal videography
- Legal photography
- E-discovery offering technological tools and e-discovery services
- Forensic accounting
- Legal research
- Data processing
- Data management
- Evidence organization
This list is non-exhaustive as there are more services that we could qualify as “litigation support” services.
What is evident is that there are many aspects to a lawsuit where the attorney on record of the law firm selected may not be specialized in handling or may not be able to handle it in an effective manner.
As such, working with a litigation support consultant can bring a lot of value in successfully handling a disputed case.
Litigation Support Consultants
Litigation support consultants, or litigation support professionals, can offer their services to lawyers and attorneys in various ways.
Major law national and international law firms (also referred to as the mega firms or the BigLaw) having the budget and financial capacity may have litigation support consultants hired and on their payroll.
As a result, the assistance services to a litigious matter will be offered “in-house”.
You can also have litigation support consultants work as self-employed individuals offering their services as independent service providers.
In this case, the attorneys and law firms may enter into a one-time or ongoing service agreement with the independent consultant for support service.
Alternatively, you may have a group of consultants working together as part of a litigation support firm offering their clients a broader spectrum of litigation support services.
Consultants offering consulting services or litigation support services may charge for their services in various ways, such as:
- Flat fee for the service to be rendered
- Services charged hourly on an agreed hourly rate
- Monthly fees
Also, it’s quite common for the consultants to charge for all the associated costs and out-of-pocket expenses as well such as hotel, airfare, or other expenses incurred while handling a specific project.
For those who are interested in working in the field of litigation support, there are many careers and job opportunities that may be available to you depending on your interest.
Here are some of the jobs and positions that you can hold in the litigation support segment:
- Database administrator
- Project manager
- Process server
- Sales executive
- Legal researcher
- Outreach professional
- E-discovery specialist
- Legal investigator
- Legal photographer
- Legal videographer
- Forensic accounting
Legal Litigation Support Takeaways
There you have it folks!
In this article, we’ve answered questions like:
- What does litigation support service mean?
- What is the litigation services definition?
- How does litigation assistance work?
“Litigation support” means the handling of tasks and activities as required by an attorney representing a client or directly for a client involved in a legal action or lawsuit.
Modern litigation has become more and more complex with the advent of technology, the Internet, social media, text messages, and particularly with more sophisticated litigants.
In this context, lawyers, law firms, and legal professionals may need to work with litigation support specialists to be able to manage and handle a complex litigious matter.
One major area of litigation support is to deal with electronically stored information (ESI or e-discovery).
Litigation support experts in the area of e-discovery can help lawyers identify key electronic files and documents, preserve them, review them, and allow lawyers to use them in their case to support their legal position and strengthen their evidence.
In addition to e-discovery, you can have other important support services, such as:
- Researching into the laws
- Researching case laws, precedents, and jurisprudence
- Looking into public registries, databases, and records
- Providing investigative services
- Provide forensic analysis of evidence, finance, or technology
- Find and locate individuals
- Deposition services, video depositions, and other
- Trial services
- Business intelligence services
In the end, litigation support is the process of helping attorneys and clients better handle and manage their lawsuits so they can be better prepared, have all the right information and evidence, and make the best possible case before a judge or jury.
I hope this article helped you better understand litigation “support” and “consulting” services.
Let’s look at a summary of our findings.
What Is Litigation Support Services
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