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How to Measure the Success of Your Lawsuits

Every lawsuit should be measured with specific goals and deadlines.  If you don’t measure deadlines and goals in your lawsuits, you won’t spot problems.

  • Are your lawsuits taking too long?
  • Are you spending too much $ on disbursements?
  • Have you set realistic settlement goals and values?

Even when you ring the bell with a big settlement/judgment, it’s not a complete success if the lawsuit took too long or you spent too much $ on disbursements.  There are three major goals that should be measured in every lawsuit:

(1)    Length of the Lawsuit;

(2)    Legal Fee to Disbursement Ratio; and

(3)    Settlement Goal

At the end of every lawsuit, have your assistant complete the “Case Debriefing” and sit down with your team to review the numbers. Celebrate moments of progress and dissect the mistakes. Find out why the case took too long and discuss with your team what you can do to prevent the mistakes.

By way of example, we use the form, “Our Case Debriefing”, to review the success and failure of every lawsuit.

Our Case Debriefing

Goal #1: Length of the Lawsuit

Date of Filing of Lawsuit:  December 5, 2014

Date of Settlement/Judgment:  June 17, 2016

Length of Lawsuit:  18 months, 12 days

Goal:  18 Months

Goal Accomplished?  No

# of Days Past Date of Goal:  12 days

Goal #2: Legal Fee to Disbursement Ratio

Disbursements:  $13,378

Legal Fee:  $126,234 (after deducting referral fee)

Ratio of Fee to Disbursements:  9.43/1

Goal:  10/1

Goal Accomplished?  No

% of Ratio Below Goal:  0.57% (10/1 minus 9.43/1=0.57%)

Goal #3: Settlement Goal

Settlement Value:  $750k

Settlement Goal:  $900k

Actual Settlement:  $675k

Goal Accomplished?  No

Amount of $ Below Goal:  $225k

photo credit: 20cm via photopin (license)

Leave a comment below telling me what surprised, inspired or taught you the most (I personally respond to every comment). And if you disagree with my take on running a personal injury law firm, or have a specific, actionable tip, I’d love to hear from you.