Somewhere in my first few months or so of blogs is one I wrote about what to do when your company has been sued. In it, I set out a lot of important things to do when you first get served with a complaint. There’s a lot of useful information in there, but I left out an important part of what to do in those early days of litigation. It was deliberate because I knew then that the topic deserved its own “Ten Things” post. So, I did what I usually do when I have an idea – I jotted it down on a Post-It note and set it aside, with every intention of coming back to it in a few months. Three years later I found that Post-It jammed in a folder with a lot of other blog ideas, staring at me like an abandoned puppy wanting to be taken home. Damn you sad-eyed Post-It note. Get in the car.
And here I am on a Sunday afternoon staring at that Post-It note again, finally willing to give it it’s due. What does it say? It says, “Early Case Assessment” (and “Call Mom”). I am a little saddened to see that in many eyes, Early Case Assessment has become an exercise in e-Discovery. There’s nothing wrong with that other than I think it makes the scope of an ECA much too narrow. Some e-Discovery review should be part of the assessment but it is not the focus. I think of ECA a bit more “old school” in scope and something that’s going to take a lot of elbow grease, detective work, and creative thinking – just what lawyers do best. This edition of “Ten Things” discusses what you need to do to put together a top-notch Early Case Assessment: