Why you might not want to go to court: 3 tips from litigators who save clients money and time

Sep 27, 2022 | Business, Litigation, Smith + Malek

By Tara Malek

Many people dread the idea of litigation, and rightfully so. From filing a complaint to going to trial and potentially needing to appeal, the process may take months or even years. It can be messy and downright stressful.

In many cases, it may be more strategic and financially sound to avoid litigation entirely. However, this requires thinking ahead, putting proper precautions in place, and knowing what options exist if you find yourself needing to resolve a dispute.

Here are 3 tips you can use to save money and time by avoiding going to court.


1) Keep your attorney informed and address issues early.

Conflicts can quickly snowball if not addressed. You’ll want an attorney you can trust who is equipped to provide detailed guidance for your concerns.

When hiring an attorney, be intentional about who you hire. Your attorney should specialize in the practice most relevant to you. For example, if you own a healthcare practice, you will want to work with a lawyer who has experience in healthcare and business practices. Look for someone who is honest and willing to build a personal connection with you.

If possible, opt for a team-based, collaborative firm. Since these firms are more likely to encourage their attorneys to work with one another, you’ll benefit from more expert advice and quicker turnaround times. Without a competitive model, attorneys are less motivated to take a case to trial to increase their profits. Instead, they will prioritize doing what’s best for the client.

Once you have found a trustworthy attorney, keep them informed. If something new or unexpected happens, reach out to your attorney and bounce ideas off of them. They may be able to provide a different perspective and help you navigate your way through the situation. Speaking with an attorney earlier rather than later often prevents unnecessary costs.


2) Consult with your attorney as you create and update contracts.

Contracts exist to build protective barriers and allow for accurate, clear communication with other parties involved. When creating and updating contracts, run them by your attorney to check that the language reflects your best interests and includes the necessary legal protections. Contracts created without an attorney or with minimal attorney input often lack important clauses that could result in avoidable consequences.

If you are hoping to avoid litigation entirely, discuss including an arbitration clause with your attorney. This clause states that if a dispute arises, it will be settled through arbitration rather than litigation. Arbitrations tend to be less intensive than a trial but still involve issuing an award to one party or another to resolve the dispute.


3) Consider ways to handle the suit outside of court.

Alternative dispute resolution can be a better and much less costly alternative than going to court or trial. While mediation does require some compromise, it is often a shorter and less expensive process than litigation and tends to give the parties involved more control over the outcome. Your attorney and the opposing party can meet with a qualified neutral third party who will facilitate the conversation. The mediator will aid in the negotiation process but will not provide legal advice.

The parties to a dispute can choose mediation at nearly any stage of the dispute, this includes prior to a lawsuit being filed in addition to after the lawsuit is filed. If litigation looks like it may be too costly or you would like more control over the outcome of a dispute you may want to discuss the possibility of mediation with your attorney.


Litigation doesn’t have to be the nasty, “burn it all down” approach that is often portrayed in the movies. There are often alternative approaches that maintain bridges between parties and help save you time and money. If your business finds itself wronged and is considering litigation, we’re here to help. We’ll walk you through the options that are truly best for you and see you through the best outcome for you, not your attorney. 

Tara Malek is a Co-Owner and Top Litigator with Smith + Malek, PLLC practicing in Idaho. If you have questions about these areas of law, contact Tara at 208.473.7009, tara@smithmalek.com .