Working with you to achieve your best possible outcome, in the best possible way.
Is litigation the best option for your divorce or other family law case?
We’re committed to understanding your goals for your specific situation, and focusing our efforts to achieve them. Many divorce lawyers and law firms rely on litigation – resolving cases through the formal court system, and might not educate you about all of your options.
Litigation is a broad term and case types vary greatly, for example:
- Civil Rights
- Contract Disputes
- Personal Injury
- Partnership, Joint Venture
- Labor & Employment
- Real Estate
- Criminal Matters
- Insurance Litigation
- Fiduciary Liability
- Mortgage foreclosure
- Creditor’s Rights
- Intellectual Property – Patents, Trademarks, Copyright
As you may notice, in the above types of disputes, the adverse parties are unlikely to have future dealings with each other. This is a different dynamic than in domestic relations cases, where parents may have decades of contact with each other after the case concludes. Litigation may also translate into many more future court appearances, as litigation tends to increase levels of resentment and anger.
The Traditional Model
Imagine you are involved in a legal dispute, or perhaps you don’t need to imagine because it’s already underway. If someone asked you how you would prefer to handle your lawsuit, would you say you want it to be really expensive and drag on forever? Would you ask your lawyers to charge for small nuggets of time for every aspect of your case?
Probably not – but traditionally those are the “hallmarks” of the justice system. Doesn’t sound that appealing, does it?
With hourly billing, the economic incentive at some law firms is to bill more hours so partners take home huge sums of money – your money. Lawyers, especially associates who serve as the primary timekeepers, are under pressure to bill and bill. Reports have explored the unattractive elephant in the (office) room – inflated billing is sadly not uncommon (even more so at some larger firms with the most stringent requirements) so attorneys can meet ridiculously high billable hour requirements. If lawyers don’t meet these astronomical billing requirements, then they lose their big bonuses or jobs.
At Next Phase Legal & Dispute Resolution, we think there is a better way.
Across the country, contemporary law firms are changing their approach while traditionalists cling to the side of the life-raft. Status-quo no longer cuts it for many clients – and for attorneys that have the courage to admit the battlefield tactics surrounding traditional litigation oftentimes don’t serve the interests of clients in the long-run, especially when those clients have children together.
Creative approaches to problem-solving can yield better results, and do so less expensively. Does this modern approach mean that lawyers are soft or lack a backbone? Of course not.
There is a range of methods to advocate for clients, and we think failing to consider all options is a mistake. When a tough approach is required, perhaps because the other side has adopted an unreasonable position and negotiations stall, then you want your lawyers to be skilled in and out of the courtroom. They should be effective in different arenas, including alternative dispute resolution and negotiation techniques.
Modern Approaches to Legal Fees
Alternatives to hourly billing exist, and we’re not afraid to use them in many situations. Fees based upon the various stages of your case can provide peace of mind and provide structure. For less complex matters, a single flat fee may be a good option. Are there circumstances where traditional hourly billing is the best option? Yes, but the difference is that we’ll talk with you about what makes sense for you and your situation, and then come up with a workable plan and get to work.
When you need some honest information and an assessment of your situation and how to move forward, we would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you.
Divorce lawyers and mediators serving the Boston metro area, including Norfolk, Medfield, Walpole, Franklin, Westwood, Norwood, Dover, Millis, Medway, Dedham, Wellesley, and Canton, MA.