Hiring Plaintiff’s Lawyers

Court settlement is always the last resort to the parties to a dispute as it is fairly expensive and time-consuming. If that is the case, who sues first affect the way of choosing a litigation lawyers as plaintiff’s lawyer or defendant’s lawyer

Where a client is the plaintiff, appointing a lawyer should be careful.  Here are some notes to remember.

1. Lawyers’ fees

Regularly, fee arrangements used in cases where the client is the plaintiff are similar to the one where the client is the defendant. However, the client being the plaintiff can apply not only the lawyers’ fees based on hourly rate or fixed fees, but also the contingency fee.

2. Practical experiences 

Where the client is the plaintiff, the practice experience of the lawyer may be less important than when he acts as the lawyer of the defendant. It is true if the case that the client is the plaintiff has strong advantages, which easily guarantee success of the case. If the lawsuit fails, its consequence is not big or significant. In contrast, any failure in the case where the client is the defendant leads to serious consequences. The most important thing is to consider which lawyer will be available to accept the case based on the contingency fee and the client is no longer expected to pay more fees. These cases often attract inexperienced and unpopular lawyers.

3. Pressuring time

Appointing an appropriate barrister (litigation lawyer) may be depend on the time of the dispute. Clients should consider to appoint a lawyer who specializes in dispute resolution for each area depending on the client’s purpose of pursuing the case. In particular, the client wants the final verdict to enforce the defendant to perform an obligation, or the client simply use the lawsuit to create pressure for obtaining an advantage when negotiating disputes outside of the court.

4. Hidden value

The reputation of the lawyer may make a greater difference in case where the client is the plaintiff compared to that where the client is the defendant. The reason is that the plaintiff is the one who can direct the lawsuit. The plaintiff has prepared dossier for the case and known the possibility of a counterclaim regardless of whether the defendant employs a lawyer. Meanwhile, some defendants are business entities that set deliberately the expense and scope of litigation for the cases where they are defendants mainly based on the scope or importance of the judgment.

5. Counter-claim

The defendant is entitled to make counter-claims against the plaintiffs in any case. Therefore, client needs to choose a lawyer who can well protect the client when the client might be counterclaimed and can win the client’s claims.

6. Understanding the client

The lawyer employed by the client must have prior experience in working with the client, a thorough knowledge of the client’s business field, people, “sensitive” issues and confidential issues relevant to the client. These issues are often overlooked in cases where the client is the plaintiff. The primary reason is that the plaintiff always tries to claim the responsibility or fault to the defendant. To achieve it, the case study process usually aims to search documents and evidences for proving the wrongdoing of the defendant. This seems less interested when the client is the plaintiff. In fact, in most cases where the client is the plaintiff, the evidence provided is mostly documents proving the damage. All the remaining evidence for the issues like who did those acts, what the motives were, was derived from the defendant or the defendant’s testimony. Therefore, for cases where the client is the plaintiff, the employed lawyer does not need to scrutinize the client’s behavior or business. Hence, the need to employ a lawyer with extensive experience in the field of the client’s business is also less concerned.

Bui Tien Long (Rudy)