Picture the powerful racing car making a sharp hairpin bend but the driver takes his or her foot off the gas. It’s not pretty. The good driver knows his or her line before the corner and drives through it – at high speed but in total control. Keeping the pedal down through the curve brings traction and a focus in how the car handles an otherwise difficult situation.
Recent survey data indicates no shortage of major litigation matters and indeed a likely uptick in class action suits. That’s not great news for companies already dealing with big issues like compliance, privacy and cyber-vulnerability – let alone protection of critical IP. It is particularly bad news for the likes of Pharma and Life Sciences, Financial Services and new iconic Tech companies. Big as they are, this only makes the target bigger for others to aim at.
It is perhaps no wonder that many companies will do so much to avoid litigation – if only to avoid the Herculean effort and substantial costs inherent in the process. Yet, when it’s necessary – when that bet-the-farm case comes along – what do you do? Is the only answer to write a blank check? Perhaps not. Fewer and fewer of those are being written these days as the legal budget comes under scrutiny and there are increasingly blunt questions from the CFO about “how to cut those legal costs”.
We think the answer lies in one word: “Focus”.
Expert focus on the issues and the themes – early in the process – is invaluable in driving outcome. Too often, matters can take on a life of their own and the real issues – the ones that will win or lose cases – can be lost in the process itself. Ironically, the process of resolution also becomes secondary to the process itself.
DOAR sees a significant reduction in unnecessary, costly discovery efforts through the use of focus groups to test issues and develop themes early in the process. To focus on what really matters is to unearth the real value and drivers in a given matter. Understand what is important and focus your discovery efforts accordingly.
As more corporate clients seek strategic advice and tighter execution – yet face a real mandate to manage and contain costs – this approach represents an important step forward. The advantages of early assessment in bringing focus to downstream aspects are considerable. Whether in the context of settlement negotiations, motion practice and/or discovery, the educated and focused buyer will have a significant competitive advantage in controlling costs and shaping the dialog around the issues that matter most.
If you’re in the driver’s seat, don’t let the car steer you. With the focus on early assessment, you’ll be equipped to power through the bend – lined up for the finish line with your competition a distant blur in the rear view mirror.