In a number of our posts this year, we have highlighted the trends and perils of mergers and acquisitions. Of course, not every acquisition turns out to be fruitful, and not every transaction occurs without disputes that turn into lawsuits.
Because of these risks, it is prudent for a company to have a litigation readiness plan; regardless of if the company is brand new or if it has been in business for decades. After all, litigation can be painfully expensive and lead to the loss of profitable business opportunities.
Ideally, the best way to deal with lawsuits (and litigation) is to avoid them. However, if you are embroiled in a dispute and a lawsuit arises, it is prudent to have a litigation readiness plan. The importance of having such plans is increased because of how Rules 16 and 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require companies to produce and retain discoverable documents and electronically stored information.
With that said, this post will identify a couple of important points companies should consider in preparing a litigation readiness plan.
Conduct an ESI Inventory – While knowing your information may seem obvious, being able to locate and organize the information is another exercise.
Have an ESI or IT liaison – Having someone who can communicate with legal counsel in a common language can help in avoiding communication gaffes and other problems.
Have a discovery response team – In addition to having access to documents and ESI, having a team that can address questions posed by legal counsel is also important.
For additional questions about how to implement such a plan, an experienced attorney can help.