While the nation's economy continues to improve, the landscape for corporate lawsuits does not appear ready for change. Indeed, the number of pending cases may decrease over course of 2016 given a continued emphasis on early settlement efforts, but this may not stem the tide of lawsuits.
Indeed, the best way to avoid the perils of litigation is to avoid a lawsuit. However, it is critical to have a litigation readiness plan in the event you are named in a lawsuit. As such, this post will identify a couple of important points small businesses should consider in preparing a litigation readiness plan.
If you are skeptical about needing such a plan, don't be. This is because of how Rules 16 and 26 of the federal rules require businesses of all sizes to produce and retain discoverable documents; especially electronically stored information (ESI). With that, a litigation readiness plan should cover the following points.
Conduct an ESI Inventory - Of course you should have a register of information that could be discoverable and useful in a lawsuit, being able to locate and organize such information is critical.
Have an ESI or IT liaison - In addition to having current records, it is helpful to have someone who can communicate with legal counsel in so that communication gaffes and other problems can be avoided.
Have a discovery response team - Discovery responses should be answered in a consistent, timely and cost-consuming manner. As such having a collection of professionals who can address questions posed by legal counsel is critical.
For additional questions about how to create and implement litigation readiness plans, an experienced attorney can help.