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Lawyers know that litigation, large and small, usually requires the assistance of a variety of non-lawyer vendors, service providers and consultants. These non-legal professionals can be the testifying or consulting experts who clarify technical aspects of the case. They can also be litigation service providers, such as the vendors that host your electronic data, or the court reporters who transcribe depositions. When our relationships with them are at their best, experts and service providers are essential partners. When these relationships go wrong, they cause headaches. There are three fundamentals to vendor relations: defining the terms of the relationship, managing costs and optimizing information flow.

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