In addition to his trial work, Jef Henninger, Esq. provides legal and litigation consulting services to clients across the country. A legal consultant does not take the place of a trial attorney. Instead, a legal consultant supplements the work of the trial attorney for the client. Jef’s services are available to both clients and attorneys. Hiring a legal consultant is cost-effective because it usually does not involve court appearances or brief writing (although both are available). Thus, two of the most time consuming services an attorney can provide are eliminated. In addition, the consultant’s services are flexible as they can be tailored to the client’s specific needs.
Why use a litigation consultant?
As previously mentioned, clients and attorneys use litigation consultants. Clients who cannot afford a good attorney may use a legal consultant to provide a second opinion about pre-trial strategy, trial strategy and plea negotiation. While we suggest you get a good attorney if you can afford it, having a private attorney to act as a litigation consultant may be the best alternative. Sometimes a consultant just needs to properly explain the issues to the client. We have found a disturbing amount of clients who report that their attorneys do not properly explain things to them. As we have a great reputation for properly speaking with clients (instead of down to them) and explaining everything so that they fully understand everything, Jef welcomes you to discuss all of your questions with him. Other times, a litigation consultant is brought in to analyze a specific issue of the case. Thus, even clients who have a good attorney may want to consult with an attorney that has more experience in a specific area of the law or a unique evidence issue.
Attorneys may hire litigation consultants to analyze evidence, conduct research, write briefs and act as “second chair” on motions or trials. While most attorneys probably feel that they are equipped to handle most anything the prosecutor can through at them, they are sometimes faced with an issue that is unique and complex. As a result, it may be much easier for that attorney to hire a litigation consultant than to spend countless hours trying to figure it out for themselves.
How a litigation consultant works
There are two types of arrangements that a client can have with a litigation consultant. The first is “issue specific”. In an issue specific arrangement, a client is asking the litigation consultant to review and analyze an issue in their case. The consultant can than provide advice, opinions or both. The issues can be specific, such as “what motions should my attorney file” or they can be broad such as “what is your opinion about the case” or “the defense of intoxication”. After reviewing all of the necessary information and conducting the appropriate research, a detailed report is then generated detailing the findings of the consultant.
The other type of arrangement is an “on-going arrangement”. This type of arrangement is useful for a client who wants an attorney to help “quarterback” a case, usually from start to finish. Some clients do not have one specific issue that they have concerns about. Instead, they want to make sure that their entire case is being handled properly. Because they are naive with regard to the criminal justice system, it can be difficult for them to properly evaluate their attorney’s actions. While most people rely on the trust that they have in their lawyer, some people do not have that luxury; especially those that cannot afford to hire a good one. While we do not like to “second guess” an attorney’s actions, a second opinion is often sought with important, life-altering events such as surgery. Thus, it follows that a decision that could result in many years in prison and/or a loss of employment and reputation may call for a second opinion. Unlike a surgery which is over and done with in a few hours, a criminal case can take months and sometimes years to progress. As a result, the client will have to meet with the consultant several times to make sure that the case is progressing properly.
Hiring a litigation consultant
To hire a consultant, the client first has a free, initial consultation. At this consultation, which is either in person or over the phone, the client explains exactly what they are looking for. The legal consultant then gathers more information from the client that he or she needs to properly determine if the consultant can assist the client and how much time it will take. The client is then charged a retainer which the client must pay up front. The consultant and his staff have hourly rates and the retainer provides for a set amount of hourly rates for both. The client is usually offered the option of the retainer acting as a “cap” so that the client will not be charged any further or as a credit so that they consultant may exceed the retainer, but only if necessary. In the event the retainer is exceeded, the client must pay the difference.
Our litigation consultant services include, but are not limited to, the following areas of law:
- White Collar Crime
- Computer Crime
- Fraud (Mortgage, Bank, Credit Card, Securities, Insurance, Health Care Claims)
- Theft, Embezzlement
- Identity Theft
- Forgery, Document Fraud
- Murder and all Homicides
Our litigation consultant services include, but are not limited to, the following evidence issues:
- Computer/Digital Evidence
- DNA, including STR DNA
- Crime Scene Processing and Investigation
- Defense Investigation
Our litigation consultant services include, but are not limited to, the following case issues:
- Plea Negotiations
- Jury Selection
- Trial Strategy
- Direct Questions
- Cross Examination
- Evaluation of Defenses
- Witness Preparation
- Defendant Preparation for Direct and Cross Examination
To discuss your litigation issues with Jef Henninger, Esq, call 732-773-2768.