Client, Be Quiet!

We’re in litigation with a large company. Both sides are represented by careful, competent outside counsel. Both sides have an ongoing business relationship outside of the disputed matter. The other side has just made a mistake.

Its business person told our business person that, “senior management is getting conflicting advice from its attorneys, and is afraid they’ll ‘lose big time.'” Our business person was quick to reassure me that he said nothing in reply other than, “I see.” I thanked him and reminded him about loose lips sinking ships (or something equally unoriginal).

What will we do with this information? Not much. We’ll probably stop granting extensions on discovery responses.

Remind your clients that in litigation, there are very few who have a true “need to know”. To those without a need to know, the internal message has to be the same as the external message: “We believe this lawsuit is unfounded. Unfortunately, we have to spend valuable resources proving this point. We appreciate your support.”

And although it’s not their nature, customer-facing execs have to find a way to just be quiet sometimes.


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