The Time to Decide – Commercial Real Estate Litigation
A sage once said, “The time to worry about where the ball will drop is before the wheel is spun”. He was speaking about roulette, of course, but the wisdom of these words has much broader application. The point is, worry about the outcome before you place the bet, when you can still do something about it.
Commercial litigation, especially commercial real estate litigation, is in some respects like roulette. Once your lawsuit is filed, the wheel is spinning. Unlike roulette, you may still have a measure of control over the outcome — but you are in it until the ball drops.
In CRE litigation there is seldom an insurance company prepared to write a check. There is a substantial risk the case will proceed to trial. There is no guaranty you will collect anything – especially if payment of money is not the relief you seek. Consequently, there is very little chance your attorney will accept your commercial dispute on a contingent fee basis. A third of nothing is still nothing.
Lawyers handling commercial litigation are not your partners. Commercial litigators charge by the hour. Except in rare cases where you can negotiate a hybrid fee arrangement, you will assume the entire financial risk – not your lawyer. Your lawyer is serving as your paid professional advocate; a hired gun, so to speak.
As long as you are willing and able to pay your lawyer to apply his or her skill and training to your cause, your lawyer is bound to represent you with zeal and vigor. If you do not pay, you should expect your lawyer to stop work. The fact that the practice of law is a profession does not make it a charitable enterprise. It is both a profession and a business. There is no moral or ethical imperative for a lawyer to work without pay while advocating a commercial dispute. CRE litigation is business litigation – and the business being advanced is yours. (more…)