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Five Tips for Proactive Litigation Management

November 10, 2023

Navigating the complexities of the legal landscape demands a structured approach. In this Five Under 5, we outline five essential strategies that contribute to effective proactive litigation management.

  1. Recognizing and Responding to Litigation. The initial phase involves prompt identification of looming legal disputes. Upon identification, well-established procedures should guide the escalation of legal documents to the appropriate authorities within the organization. The absence of such procedures could lead to detrimental legal repercussions.

  2. Importance of Case Planning and Project Management. Effective case planning and project management are indispensable for the competent handling of intricate legal cases. These tools offer crucial insights and align the team with litigation objectives. Moreover, the integration of project management in legal processes has markedly enhanced efficiency. Early case assessment plays a pivotal role in shaping the course of litigation.

  3. Strategic Consideration of Settlement Options. Identifying settlement offramps and inflection points early and often is critical to proactive litigation management. In addition to mitigating risk, settlement can preserve confidentiality and avoid setting legal precedents. There are various tools to assist in quantifying a principled settlement proposal, including decision trees, zones of agreement and other risk assessment tools.

  4. Effective Witness Management. The selection and preparation of witnesses are crucial steps in litigation. Key witnesses should be identified early on and the litigation team should keep in communication with them throughout the process, as appropriate. Preparedness for trial, including readiness to marshal effective witness testimony, can significantly influence the opposing party's willingness to negotiate a settlement.

  5. Coordination Between In-House and External Counsel. The relationship between external counsel and in-house counsel is critical when managing litigation. Reporting and transparency that match expectations are keys for success. Setting the tone at the outset by discussing expectations on topics such as reporting, budgeting and goal setting will help build a good working relationship and ensure that in-house counsel are well-positioned to effectively advise company management on litigation.

When legal complexities abound, proactive litigation management is not just advisable; it is imperative. This approach minimizes risks and ensures that legal strategies are harmoniously aligned with overarching business objectives.

Have more than five minutes? Contact any member of our Litigation & Dispute Resolution group to learn more, or view our recent webinar on this topic with Blakes Partners Karine Russell, Matthew Liben, Nicole Henderson, David Tupper and Brendan MacArthur-Stevens.