Which circumstances are necessary for the Mucky-Mucks?
Which cases do you have to report on?
When speaking to a Muckety-Muck, in which cases will Muckety be most interested in hearing updates?
The first category is obvious: big ticket cases.
If the plaintiffs sue us for a billion or two, the people in the C-suite will take care of it. Report on these cases regularly.
But things other than money are important.
If the case poses a potential risk to the company’s reputation, the people in the C-suite will take care of it. Report on these cases regularly.
If the case is a government regulator, that probably interests the people in the C-suite. Add these cases to the list.
But that’s all clear.
What other categories of cases does Muckty attend to?
Cases in which Muckéty is personally involved.
Perhaps, for some reason, the CEO’s removal was made in a case with relatively low stakes. The stakes are no longer material, but the CEO will likely continue to be interested in hearing about developments as they occur.
Suppose someone in the C-suite has been personally named as a defendant on a case, has been blocked at an international border because of a false report to the police, or has some other personal interest in the case. Immediately these falls climb the ladder. Report regularly (to the person involved), even though the stakes are relatively small.
What’s the next category of cases Muckty cares about? Cases in which Muckéty has a personal relationship with a lawyer.
Let’s say you’re looking for a lawyer in Panama. They don’t have regular counseling there. The CFO was college roommate with a very formidable person who is now a lawyer in Panama. You check the recommendation and in the end hire the recommended lawyer.
The stakes were never necessarily material. There is no personal involvement in the case. But the case becomes interesting because the CFO has a personal relationship with a lawyer. The C-Suite will generally not care about this case; the CEO, while curious about the case she was personally involved in, is not interested in this other case; But the CFO, who has a personal relationship with the lawyer, takes care of it. Inform the CFO regularly about this case.
None of this is difficult; it all goes without saying when you think about it.
But it takes many in-house lawyers years – or forever – to think about these things.
Think about whether your audience cares about the case. Vary your coverage depending on your personal interests.
mark Herrmann was a partner at a leading international law firm for 17 years and is now Deputy General Counsel at a large international company. He is the author of The miser’s guide to exercising the right and Litigation strategy for drug and product liability disputesYes (Affiliate links). You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.