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Ken Lopez Founder/CEO A2L Consulting This is the fifth consecutive year that I've written a new year economic outlook article focused on litigation. Please review some of my previous articles that were focused on 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013. While I believe that 2017 will be a very good year for litigation, it will not be good for everyone. From where I sit, things look and sound remarkably different during this current economic expansion than they did in previous years. A2L's litigation consulting business, one focused almost entirely on trials, is thriving. We've grown more than 50% in each of the past two years, and I'm forecasting similar or better growth for 2017. Our growth is spread across many law firms/corporations and many areas of the law, so I know it's meaningful growth. Yet any conversation with my large law firm managing partner friends or my big company in-house counsel friends suggests that litigation should be having an off year. These well-informed sources, as well as courthouse data, tell me that case filings are down and that litigation at big law firms is down. So, how can our trial-driven firm be prospering and big litigation departments be faltering? One of us has to be looking at the litigation industry all wrong, right?  Actually, I believe that we're both right, and I'm trying on some new vocabulary to explain it.

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The Litigation and Economic Outlook for 2016

by Ken Lopez Founder/CEO A2L Consulting Last month the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time in nine years. This action signals that the Fed believes we are entering a period of sustained and significant economic growth. Although the Great Recession officially ended in 2009, for a lot of people, this Fed action may mark the emotional end of it. Economic conditions do feel considerably better than they did just a few years ago. Most people who want a job can get one now. However, most jobs pay less than they did 10 years ago. Furthermore, a staggering 40% of people over the age of 16 do not have a job. That's the lowest number since the Jimmy Carter years. So, we can't quite say things are rosy, but we can't say things are terrible either. After all, in 2009, more than 700,000 jobs (including a lot of legal industry jobs) were being lost per month, and now, 250,000 jobs are being added to the economy in a typical month. What does this all mean for those of us who work in the litigation industry? Will 2016 be a good year? The answer, I believe, is that while it will not be an incredible 2005-like year, it will probably be a little better than 2015, and that's not too bad. Let me support that belief with some additional details. This is the fourth year I've written an economic forecast for the litigation industry. For 2013, I forecasted improving conditions for all of us, and we saw the economy grow by 2.3%. That was actually a significant improvement over the year before which saw many law firms not growing or even shrinking. For 2014 (also including a mid-year update) and 2015, my forecast was about the same, and so were the results - modest growth. For law firms and their litigation departments and for litigation support firms like A2L Consulting, these past several years have been growth years. But will it continue? After all, recessions come about once every seven years, and the last recession occurred in 2009.

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  by Ryan H. Flax (Former) Managing Director, Litigation Consulting and General Counsel A2L Consulting High-stakes litigation is hugely expensive these days. But what if there were a means of reducing litigation costs in a way that helps both the trial team and the client and doesn’t sacrifice the quality of legal representation? That would make in-house counsel very happy, since an important part of their job is to budget and control litigation costs. There are a number of ways to do this, such as using alternative fee arrangements, streamlining litigation teams and bringing e-discovery in house. But what about a more radical step – trying to win your case well before trial? That would indeed be a cost saver and would lead to an excellent result.

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7 Award-Winning LitigationWorld Articles

  by Ken Lopez Founder/CEO A2L Consulting We just learned that a blog post that we wrote recently was named the “Pick of the Week” by LitigationWorld, a popular email newsletter for litigators, litigation support professionals, and corporate counsel who manage litigation. This is the seventh A2L Consulting post since 2011 to be so honored.   For each issue of LitigationWorld, the editorial team there reviews hundreds of articles published during the previous week. From these articles, one is selected as LitigationWorld Pick of the Week. The article is selected because the editors there believe that it is a must-read for anyone interested in litigation.   The article that won this honor was entitled “12 Reasons Litigation Graphics are More Complicated Than You Think.”

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A Mixed Litigation Industry Outlook for 2015

 

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by Ken Lopez Founder/CEO A2L Consulting

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