At critical points during the pretrial phase of a lawsuit, lawyers can use relatively minimal effort to gain significant potential for success by dispositive motion, settlement, trial, or appeal. Knowing these points allows in-house counsel and trial lawyers to:
• budget time and resources efficiently;
• stage tasks in the most effective order;
• build in the lead time necessary to engage additional information sources and decision makers when their input is required; and
• draw on the expertise of appellate lawyers without breaking the bank.
There is no question that budgeting some additional time at critical points during the pretrial phase can yield strategic benefits. The question is: which points present these opportunities?