As litigation becomes more expensive and timeconsuming, the reality is that only 1 to 2 percent of cases are disposed of with a jury verdict. In these circumstances, the overwhelming financial cost of litigation is in the discovery and pretrial stages; the major, indirect, non-financial cost is the loss of employee time spent assisting counsel in trial preparation.
One way to minimize costs and maximize efficiency is through use of a Special Master. While Special Masters can serve in many roles, including as settlement masters, the most frequent use (and the one considered here) is the adjudicative function of overseeing discovery and resolving discovery and privilege disputes. The ultimate goal of the Special Master is to save time for judicial officer and reduce the litigation costs for the parties. The following are checklists that may aid in determining whether and when to use a Special Master.
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Originally published on Law.com on July 7, 2014.
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