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In-house Access Insight & Commentary for In-House Counsel Worldwide

When Managing Litigation, Be Sure to Wash Your Hands

Posted in ACC Docket

(May 2012)

Many of you know that I have two children: a 14-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl. They share a bathroom. And, unless you are blessed to live with someone exactly like you, arguments about bathroom neatness are bound to occur.

After all the reminders, threats and punishments, my son is still your average teenage boy (i.e., messy, stubborn and lazy). One day, my daughter was finally fed up. She decided that a contract was the only way to make my son take the bathroom situation seriously. She wrote her own contract; listed her requirements; discussed the negative outcomes should he not comply; and had witnesses sign it. As you can see, the penalty for non-compliance is quite stiff.

If only all contracts were that simple. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone who signed the contract met the terms? Since this isn’t always the case, corporations sometimes find themselves in court. Whether it’s this month’s cover story, “Litigation Investment: A New Approach to Law Firm Engagement,” or one of the other feature articles — “Hazardous Material Enforcement Is Spilling into Unexpected Areas;” “Business Not as Usual: Importing Innovations from Outside the Law for Optimized Litigation Outcomes;” or “The SMB’s Guide to Developing an Electronic Data Management Program that Can Reduce Legal Risk and Lower eDiscovery Costs” — our May issue provides a roadmap to help with your litigation management.

As for my daughter, I see a lawyer in our household one day. If she decides to pursue that path, I have plenty of resources to help educate her. As for my son, I’ll save the bathroom contract and pass it along to his wife some day.

Kim Howard