While litigation is more structured then the pre-suit phase, the same dilatory tactics are seen. For example, endless discovery battles involving mundane issues, issues with coordinating hearings and depositions, disputes over privileged documentation, third party subpoenas, scheduling several months in the future, and simple inaction.
Scheduling is by far the biggest obstacle. When times need to be coordinated amongst multiple parties it can result in simple matters taking days to resolve, with the event happening months in the future. The unfortunate result: an endless drag towards settlement. The best way I’ve found to combat this problem is to implement clear policies about scheduling. For example, after two good faith attempts to coordinate a matter, a unilateral setting of the matter should be done. While unilateral settings are often frowned upon as bad-form, a case cannot drag on over scheduling issues and endless follow-ups. A clear record of attempts should always be kept in the event a court hearing arises.
Inaction by opposing counsel is often frustrating and seen as a dilatory tactic. Healthy and productive relationships with opposing counsel are preferred and beneficial to both sides. However, sometimes the tree needs to be shaken to get the other side to wake-up and move the case along; methods vary from firm to firm but should always be done respectfully.