Monday, June 16, 2008

Trouble in River City: Episode 4

I felt relatively confident that I could handle any question Superstar could put to me and my recommendation for a response to our escalating litigation claims was clear. We needed a comprehensive compliance program. It seemed clear from Super Lawyer’s presentation that our focus on ADR had dramatically reduced our costs.

When I walked into Superstar’s office, he had been working feverishly with some papers. He looked up as I walked in and motioned to me to sit on the sofa in the far left corner of the office. I did so and spread the charts and graphs on the coffee table.

He walked over and quietly surveyed the collection of papers I had spread out. “I see you have been working on the problem—bottom line first,” he said. “What do you recommend?” The quick question caught me off guard—I had fully prepared to take him through the same analysis that Superstar had done and demonstrate how effective we had been in keeping our costs under control through our use of ADR to set the stage for the conclusion.

“A compliance program,” I uttered, involuntarily. “Compliance on what,” he asked. “Well product liability for sure,” I said. “What about the other cases?” I had not really thought about them? “How do you know it will work?” That question really caught me off guard. “Well,” I said “ we are already keeping our litigation costs under control through ADR, more aggressive litigation would simply increase those costs, compliance is the only other alternative and we can do it for a lot less than trying cases.”

He looked up at me, stared me straight in the eye and said “You did not sort these cases by economic modeling so you really do not know what factors you can control.” I was shocked, not because I had not done it, but because I have never heard of it. Superstar did not let me answer—he said: “I suggest you allocate these cases among a set of economic models that permits us to evaluate what we can control—then let’s talk.”

I left the room and headed straight to my GC’s office.

-Larry Salibra
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1 comment:

sexy said...