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Five Things to Consider When You are Served with a Lawsuit

12/17/2011

Scott Leipzig, a Los Angeles-based litigator, describes five things to consider when you are served with a lawsuit.

  1. Protect Privilege: Internal communications often become the smoking gun in a Plaintiff’s case. All too often this “smoking gun” evidence is created after the filing of a lawsuit and because non-privileged internal communications occurred after-the-fact
  2. Protect Documents: Upon the commencement of litigation, it is important that the client immediately place a litigation hold on all documents that may bear on the matter at issue.  This includes terminating automatic document destruction mechanisms that might result in the destruction of relevant documents.
  3. Notify your Insurer: As a defendant in a lawsuit it is essential to notify all potential insurance carriers of the action and to request defense and indemnity for the matter.  Only a portion of the action need be covered by insurance to trigger the obligation by the insurer to defend the entire matter.
  4. Control Publicity: Once a defendant is aware of an action, it should immediately put a publicity plan together to ensure that company representatives are not commenting on the litigation unless they have been advised to do so and are prepared to do so without making harmful admissions on the company’s behalf.
  5. Hiring Appropriate Counsel: The days of a “jack of all trades” lawyer has long since passed and the days of legal specialization are squarely upon us.  Clients should engage counsel who specialize in the particular legal arena and industry in question and who can demonstrate such.