What Is Litigation Support, and Why Is It Important?

Attorneys often deal with incredibly complex cases, from divorces with major assets to white collar crimes. As skilled as lawyers often are, they can’t possibly be an expert in every subject—nor do they have the time to devote to extra research and investigation. Enter the litigation support professional: a person who helps investigate, research and manage complex cases. Forensic accountants are just one type of litigation support professional.

Here’s an overview of litigation support and why it’s an important component in many lawsuits.

What is litigation support?

Litigation is the process of pushing a case through the court system. When those cases are lengthy and complex, hiring litigation support is a smart choice. Litigation support professionals can be hired to create databases for filing, managing and storing vast amounts of discovery. They might also help an attorney by training them in the necessary software tools, preparing data for court exhibits and taking on paralegal tasks.

Forensic accounting is one type of litigation support. A forensic accountant can manage and analyze financial data, providing a clear, easy-to-understand report of financial facts. They are able to spot discrepancies in financial reports, trace the origin of funds and find out what the numbers are really saying—as opposed to what one party may claim they’re saying.

However, there are many types of litigation support professionals. Document review, e-discovery, research, drafting and subpoena and citation professionals all help attorneys with time-consuming, complex tasks. If your case requires specialized knowledge of some kind, you can hire an expert as a type of litigation support, too.

In short, litigation support takes a lot of the pressure off the attorneys, whose job it is to be familiar with the facts and apply the law to them. Instead of spending years learning the facts, combing through discovery and trying to investigate the case themselves, they can delegate tasks to their support team.

Why hire litigation support?

Attorneys generally know when a case is too complex to handle on their own—or even with their entire firm acting as a team. Hiring litigation support is a smart way to ensure everyone plays to their own strengths, whether it’s consulting on medical disorders or developing a complex, searchable database for hundreds of thousands of pieces of evidence.

Another reason to hire litigation support is that it will free up time. Most attorneys already work more than a standard 40-hour work week—sometimes up to twice that much. If they had to handle all the tasks associated with a complex case, they may not be able to take on additional cases.

Finally, litigation support can expose lawyers to new knowledge, better databases and tools and reduced liability for mistakes. If your lawyer wants to hire litigation support for your case, it’s usually a smart choice on their part. Be sure to ask what kind of professionals they’ll be using.

To learn more about how our team can assist with forensic accounting and litigation support, call Medina & Company Consulting, Inc. today.