Conducting a litigation risk investigation in advance of possible mass tort litigation can prove to be very wise and can lead to significant future cost savings. Dechert’s mass tort/product liability lawyers have represented numerous clients in connection with litigation risk assessments (LRAs), analyzing potential risks and suggesting possible mitigation steps. A substantial portion of our practice is devoted to developing and implementing litigation avoidance strategies, including risk assessment to limit our clients’ exposure to costly litigation and reduce their insurance costs.
LRAs should be conducted with an eye toward ensuring maximum protection of the resulting work product and with appropriate sensitivity to the potential for triggering obligations like a duty to preserve documents or disclose results in a future government investigation. In our experience, an LRA should be tailored to meet each client’s specific circumstances and include the following major components:
- A project plan
- Collection and analysis of key documents
- Interviews of relevant company personnel
- Careful analysis of the litigation risks
- Effective communication
- Advice on possible mitigation steps
- Identification and possible retention of potential expert witnesses
The Benefits of LRAs
A well-conceived LRA conducted by our experienced mass tort litigators offers numerous benefits beyond simply preparing a client for future litigation. These include identifying potential plaintiffs’ litigation themes and possible responses, helping develop labeling strategy that will minimize risk in the wake of Levine, allowing the client to better prepare for the burdens of early discovery and the Rule 16 conference, identifying potential “hot” documents and beginning the process of identifying potential company representatives for use at future trials.
An LRA can also help a client prepare for the variety of different types of litigation that often accompany traditional personal injury claims, including government investigations, consumer fraud litigation, securities litigation, congressional inquiries, intellectual property litigation and litigation involving collaboration/co-marketing agreements or the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The Work We Do
We work closely with our clients, conducting pre-litigation investigations and early case evaluations to mitigate risks, taking into account potential outcomes and the financial and operational constraints that may impact the determination of the best course of action. Utilizing our extensive trial experience, we identify potential sources of litigation, review documents, advisee on their retention and identify key witnesses. Our attorneys carefully analyze the facts, assess the likely litigation risks and propose mitigation steps in order to better position our clients should litigation ensue.