What are the types of fees and costs that are typically incurred in association with representation of a Company in a civil lawsuit?

The fees and costs associated with any type of litigation will depend on a number of factors depending on:

  • the type of case (i.e., individual employee lawsuit or class action),
  • number of parties involved (filing costs for initial appearances, copying and service costs increase when all parties are served, where conflict of interest may require the company to be separately represented from alleged harasser, for example, the additional costs of separate representation, etc.)
  • forum/judge assigned to the case (federal court vs. superior court requirements differ),
  • the claims, legal and factual allegations (i.e., alleged harassment over a short period of time involving a small office vs. kitchen sink allegations involving a larger department with potential cross claims requiring investigation, whether claims can be dismissed by demurrers or dispositive motions),
  • scope of discovery, depositions, subpoenas, and other actions to seek all evidence that supports or refute allegations and supports defenses,
  • retention of independent investigator, if necessary, including, costs of report,
  • opposing counsel’s conduct (i.e., amenable to stipulations, minimizes discovery disputes and not aggressively filing motions vs. agrees to nothing, disputes everything requiring motions increasing time, fees and costs associated with each),
  • compliance with preservation, legal hold and e-discovery obligations, and types, amount of relevant electronically stored information (ESI),
  • fees and costs associated with collection, review and production of ESI in litigation,
  • insurance coverage for defense and/or indemnity will add another layer to litigation as the insurance company may control the defense, assignment of counsel, legal strategy and/or settlement, and where insurance company agrees to allow insured to use own counsel, the client will remain responsible for payment of amounts billed and not paid by insurer).

The costs and expenses that are generally incurred in litigation include:

  • computerized legal research fees (lexis, westlaw or other service used by the Firm)
  • filing fees as set by the courts,
  • service of process fees, including, costs associated with using process server, fax, email, mail and/or personal delivery,
  • costs of attorney service that files documents with courts,
  • costs associated with reserving court dates for hearings,
  • postage fees,
  • photocopying, scanning and copying costs,
  • deposition-related costs, including, court reporter fees, transcript fees, additional copies, and videographers and video related fees,
  • consultants such as required by California state bar for e-discovery or in preparation for trial,
  • expert witnesses,
  • private investigators, where necessary (for example, perform background checks, surveillance, etc.)
  • mediators and costs of mediation,
  • travel expenses (parking, travel time, mileage, and where required, air fare, lodging, transportation and meals)
  • fees and costs associated with issuing out-of-state subpoenas,
  • e-discovery costs including, obtaining admissible, authenticated evidence.

For more information, feel free to contact our office at (213) 341-4417.