Imagine for a moment if courts were really held accountable to efficiently resolve disputes just like factories were responsible to produce goods. You file a lawsuit, place it on the court’s production line then and then watch lawyers and judges work to assemble a case, complete a trial and output a judgment to resolve your dispute. What you would find is that litigation is one of the most in-efficient processes left on earth.
More than 95% of all cases are never finished in court.
Courts rarely assemble any trials or produce any resolutions to any of the cases that enter their “factory.” Reporting from state and federal courts from across the United States show that courts only try and decide less than 5% of all cases filed. In other words, the overwhelming 95% majority of cases leave the court system without a finished product.
Costs of production are not recoverable.
Then let’s consider the cost people have been paying the legal system to try to resolve their disputes. It is estimated that the average cost of civil litigation in the United States (largely attorney fees) ranges between $43,000 and $122,000. People have to pay these legal fees and costs regardless of whether their cases are ever tried and decided in court. Its just the price you pay in the United States to try to resolve conflict and disputes in court. In most situations, legal fees are not recoverable in court. Read more.
For every single case that is finished in court, more than 1MM is spent on cases that are never tried.
Perhaps an even more alarming fact to consider about the legal factory is how much money is spent on lawsuits that are never even tried or decided in court. On average, plaintiffs and defendants are spending over 1MM in attorney fees on the estimated 19 out of every 20 cases filed that never get to trial.
With this much waste and unfinished business, why would anyone in their right mind continue to rely on traditional litigation to try to solve their disputes? Isn’t there any other more efficient, more effective way to resolve disputes? Didn’t anyone ever suggest trying mediation?