Not every problem is best solved by litigation. Litigation is not easy, quick or cheap.

A judge is not like an NFL referee who will throw down a yellow flag, assess a penalty and move the case along immediately. Remember that there are always at least two, and often three, sides to every story – yours, theirs and the truth. There may be facts or law of which either you or the other side is not aware of. There may be extenuating circumstances, or the other side may just feel your claim for damages is unreasonable.

Litigation is time-consuming, distracting and expensive. If litigation is justified, fine; however, do not assume that everyone will see the merit of your case and jump to your side. If it were that simple, litigation would not be necessary. If there is a dispute, try to step away from any personal aspect of it and evaluate it on an economic basis. Do not assume that litigation is the best way to teach the other side a lesson. It is most likely that they will not learn the lesson you are trying to teach them and all that will happen is that you will spend a tremendous amount of money on a futile effort.

If a settlement is possible, whether through mediation or simply on your own with the other side, consider very seriously taking it. If you think you are getting everything you want out of a settlement, you probably are not. Most settlements that work to the benefit of both parties are ones in which both sides walk away with a feeling they have left something on the table. If both sides are unhappy with the settlement, it probably was a good settlement.

When you do an economic evaluation of litigation, try to get a good estimate from your attorney of what the legal fees will be from your attorney’s effort. If you are going to pay more in legal fees than you will recover in damages, then litigation is may be a bad idea.