What is Litigation Management?
While litigation management has been around for years, the concepts are rela- tively unknown to those who do not actively manage litigation. Some might ask, “Why bother with figuring out a definition for litigation management? After all, litigation is inherently unpredictable and not capable of being effectively managed.” The unpredictable nature of litigation is often used as an excuse by those
who do not understand the importance companies place on taming the
litigation beast. In today’s world, companies expect their litigation to be as
tightly managed as their supply chain, operations and merchandising efforts.
Companies expend hard-earned capital dollars to assist in making the management of litigation as predictable as possible. Budgets are set and are expected to
be adhered to. Financial predictability in litigation is no longer a luxury, but an
expectation of those who engage in the profession.
Crafting a Definition
Imagine you are at a party and a friend introduces you to someone explaining that
you have an important job doing something with litigation. “Really, what do you do?”
“I’m in Litigation Management.” Reacting to a blank stare, you rattle off pro-
grams and statistics to demonstrate the complexities of litigation management.
Or imagine that you are in a corporate boardroom, seeking funding for
your litigation management program. You have a few minutes to explain litigation management and have prepared 40 PowerPoint slides. Your audience begins Blackberry surfing by your second slide.
Litigation management could be defined quite simply as “Helping clients and
lawyers work well together.” Nice for cocktail discussion, but not very helpful in
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By Robert Peahl and Thomas E. Best
22 | LitigationManagement | summer 2011