Written By: Larry Miller, Jr. | April 27, 2017 | No Comments
High Cost of Litigation Can Prohibit a Fair Day in Court
The cost of legal services is of great concern for the legal community. The cost of trying a case is prohibitive for far too many people, leaving many people without a realistic chance to get a fair day in Court for all kinds of disputes. High litigation costs are a problem for our country, but the problem is deeper than most understand. Contrary to most perceptions, most attorneys are not living a life of excess wealth. Here’s why.
Why are Legal Fees So High?
First and foremost, the overhead of running a legal practice is at its highest in history. High overhead directly affects an attorney’s ability to provide more affordable legal services. In the old days, an attorney could pretty much open up his office, gain a little experience, and the business rolled in. Today the cost of running a law office has significantly increased. It’s not uncommon for a small law firm to spend well over a hundred thousand dollars in annual operation costs before they even see a client. Expenses contributing to high overhead include
- Legal Malpractice Insurance
- Yellow Pages advertisements are so expensive that many law firms are just choosing not to advertise there anymore. Instead, attorneys spend more money on marketing their website.
- Search Engine Optimization
As a consumer for any product, we take for granted the ability to quickly do an Internet search and find a product or service. Consumers can’t appreciate how much money and time went into getting that website in front of the consumer on an Internet search. Getting to the top of the search engine results is complex, competitive, and requires expensive search engine optimization services.
- Electronic Legal Research;
- Administrative Personnel;
- Rent; and
A law firm must charge enough to cover these costs and still make a living.
Ways to Reduce Legal Fees
Possible ways to reduce the cost of litigation include:
- The Pennsylvania Bar Association has attempted to remedy this problem by mandating that all lawyers take pro bono cases as is appropriate, but this only solves a fraction of the problem.
- Small claims courts, called District Magistrate Courts in Pennsylvania, offer the average citizen a quick and less expensive way to litigate a case up to $12,000.
- Many attorneys volunteer their services with organizations such as Mid Penn Legal Services, which offers free legal services to people who cannot afford them.
Why I No Longer Support “Legal Insurance”
I used to support an idea for an insurance program for legal services, kind of an HMO legal insurance plan. But in recent years, I have changed my mind. Here’s why.
In today’s litigious society, a significant number of people would sue anyone and everyone but for the cost associated with litigation. The high cost is the only thing stopping them. Inexpensive litigation would flood the courts with frivolous lawsuits. So, in this regard, the high cost of litigation is beneficial because it limits lawsuits to matters worth expending the money to sue.
There’s no easy answer to this problem. What do you think?
You Won’t Find More Fair Legal Representation in Reading, Berks County, and Pennsylvania
- have 40 years’ experience serving Berks County around Reading, PA;
- realize the cost of litigation is high and do everything possible to keep our fees as low as possible;
- handle your case as efficiently as possible; and
- treat every client the same we would like a member of our family.
Contact Us Online or Call Us at 610-670-9000 today.
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