One of the first topics covered by this blog was entitled “Your Company Has Just Been Sued: Now What?” which dealt with the ten things you should do when a new lawsuit comes in the door. Equally important is what you should be doing a year or more into the lawsuit. In particular, how have you explained (and reported on) the litigation to your CEO and the Board of Directors? In many cases, neither senior management nor the directors have much, if any, experience with litigation. You can avoid a lot of frustration and second-guessing by taking the time up-front to explain the litigation process to them and providing regular updates thereafter. As you will likely need sign-off from the CEO or Board regarding many decisions including settlement authority, alternative dispute resolution (e.g., mediation), budget, etc., the better informed they are about the litigation – and the litigation process generally – the easier time you will have getting what you need and avoiding second-guessing on key decisions.
This edition of Ten Things will set out key things you need to do in explaining and regularly updating your CEO (including senior management) and the Board of Directors about important litigation. For purposes of this post, I will assume that the litigation is material to your company such that it warrants the attention of the CEO and the Board: (more…)