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Drafting of Civil Complaint: The Highest Leverage Obtainable in a Lawsuit Type of Case for Which Principle is Applicable - The

virtual law firm principle that "the drafting of a civil complaint is the highest leverage obtainable in a civil lawsuit" does not apply to each and every civil lawsuit. It applies to dif fi cult civil lawsuits in which the rights of the respective parties are anythin g but clear. Thus, if a bank is suing a customer for non-payment of a loan, the lawsuit is not one where the principle would ordinarily apply. However, in a sit uation, for exam ple, where a priest is suing his church for a "divorce", the ou tcome of the case will be quite dependent on the quality and inventiveness of th e complaint. For such a complaint as filed in the New York Supreme Court, where a priest is suing his church f or a divorce, see Priest Divorce Economic Analysis - The drafting of the "Priest Divorce" complaint took about 10 hours or $2,000 in effort, assuming an hourly rate of $200. Novel suits often a re seeking large sums of money, and involve substantial litigation effort after the complaint has been drafted, filed and served on the defendants. It would not be uncommon in a typical novel civil lawsuit for a complaint created in 10 hour s to result in 100 to 1,000 hours of total work by the plaintiff's lawyer. This translates into leverage of 10 to 100 times the amount of time spent in drafting the complaint, or that the $2,000 complaint is going to result in $20,000 to $2 00,000 in work for the plaintiff's lawyer (and more work for the plaintiff himse lf/herself, increasing the leve rage). Suggested Course of Action This foregoing analysis cries out, I think, for a ret hinking of the way that a novel lawsuit is commenced and conducted. It seems cle ar that the pleadings should be drafted by a lawyer who has experience and skill in the preparation of what I'll call inventive pleadings, a term which refers t o the ability to call upon appropriate legal doctrines even when they are not ob vious to most persons, as distinct from knowingly conjuring up non-existent fact s to support an ac tion which does not exist under any legal theory if the true facts were pleaded. Another Example of Inventive Pleadings - A plaintiff (to be) claimed that someon e had improperly found $1 billion in lost gold treasure by obtaining a copy of s idescan sonar data from the institution which had made its research vessel avail able for the lost-treasure search. Among 12 claims (all of which were upheld by the federal district court) was a claim for copyright infringement. The sonar pr intouts were filed with the U.S. Copyright Office as a treasure map, and the cop ying and transmit tal of such data was alleged as a copyright infringement. Rights Aren't Enforceable in Absence of Appropriate Articulation Lawyers and oth ers cannot know all the rights they or others have because the amount of law is too vast and complex. When a prospective client tells a busy lawyer a tale of wo e o utside of the lawyer's field of interest or his/her experience, the lawyer m ay not be able to see the rights involved (assuming there are identifiable right s) for many reasons, such as the belief that the case is too complicated (for th e lawyer), a failur e to get to the heart of the problem which would point out t he rights involved; desire to get rid of the prospective client as soon as possi ble and turn to other, pressing business; belief that the prospective client can not pay the legal fee which the law yer would require (since most lawyers don't work on a contingent-fee basis for any or certain categories of cases), and vari ous other possible reasons which generally may not be articulated to the prospec tive client. Proposed Solution for Lawyers and Clients - It is being suggested (by attorney C arl E. Person, creator of the LawMall) that lawyers and prospective clients who are considering the commencement of a lawsuit involving the need for inventive p lead ings refer the matter out to a lawyer who can prepare the complaint for rev

iew and change by the forwarding attorney and/or client. The expenditure of say $2,000 at this stage should have its statistical rewards later in the case, by g iving the attorney and client a stronger chance of having the case be heard inst ead of dismissed. With the possibility of putting in $20,000 to $200,000 in lega l work in the case, it would seem shortsighted not to spend $2,000 to protect su ch a large forthcoming investment . Why Would Attorneys Limit Themselves to Preparing Inventive Pleadings? - Why wou ld an attorney be willing to draft inventive pleadings and not want the whole ca se? Let me give you the answer with a question. Why would an artist like to sket ch the outline of his next painting more than filling in the colors once the pai nting is envisioned in his mind and sketch? The answer is that preparing an inve ntive complaint is a lot more fun than preparing such a case for trial or trying the case. Also , I have a much higher value to a case in drafting the complaint than in any other aspect, from the standpoint of hours spent. Of course, when a lawyer spends 1,000 hours on a case, there will be moments of great insight whe n a case might be won or lost on an insight taking only a few second to recogniz e and appreciate. But the amount of time spent (1,000 hours) to be at this perio d of a few seconds means that the lawyer is spending the vast amount of his time with an underutilization of his skills, and perhaps the client is paying too mu ch money for (or really can't afford) those few seconds of insight. Availability of Attorney Carl E. Person to Prepare Inventive Pleadings - Attorne y Carl E. Person (founder and developer of LawMall) is willing to (try to) prepa re inventive pleadings for a negotiated fee, which could be fixed or based on a hour ly rate or even contingent in suitable cases. To discuss this possibility, just e-mail a letter to CarlPers@lawmall.com. or telephone 212-307-4444, or fax to 212-307-0247. Your communication will be privileged, of course. Consultation will be at no char ge unless and until an agreement is reached. Lawyers are invi ted to use the services of Carl E. Person to prepare inventive pleadings in furt herance of the virtual law firm concept, which is, loosely, a lawyer who puts to gether for a given matter only th e human resources which are needed for that on e case, which reduces overhead and other costs of handling the legal matter. To see a copy of the c.v. (resume) of Carl E. Person, click on Carl E. Person C.V. Availability of Other Attorneys to Prepare Inventive Pleadings -LawMall affords attorneys the opportunity to let prospective clients know about their respective practices, and any attorney who feels that he/she is able to prepare inventive ple adings should so advertise this skill or interest by use of the term "invent ive pleadings" in their part of LawMall. Once this is done, they will be given a hypertext link below, to enable LawMall users to click to their home-page adver tisement. Caution - Lawyers and prospective clients are cautioned in various respects conc erning inventive pleadings. No lawyer should create a case where none exists, an d for a lawyer to do so would be unethical and probably illegal under certain ci rcu mstances. Lawyers may claim they can prepare inventive pleadings (as the ter m has been defined above) but may not be as able to as they think. Even the auth or of this LawMall home page (Carl E. Person) has his share of losses, which he will tell you abo ut, as well as his share of wins, which he will also tell you about, as well as cases which are still in progress (and the outcome is not yet known). It is up to you, the lawyer and prospective client to ask enough questio ns to become satisfied that the lawyer who would prepare your inventive pleading s is up to the task, which admittedly is sometimes difficult to determine. Good luck. I do think the effort to split off the work of pleading preparation is ver y valuable, and perhaps should be used in the legal field in similar fashion to the second opinion which doctors and patients look for with difficult medical pr oblems in the medical field. To return to top menu, click on Return to Top Menu.