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Are You Ready for Litigation Avoidance?

Should litigation be the first resort of lawyers or the last? At his blog Human Law Mediation, Justin Patten considers this question after reading an article in The Telegraph about U.K. entrepreneur Chris Gorman and the protracted litigation in which he and a business partner were accused of "stealing" a chain of card and gift shops. Gorman and his partner won the case, but not before going through what The Telegraph called a "public ordeal," a "great spectacle" and "a bruising personal experience for those concerned." As the article quotes Gorman:

"My biggest frustration was that there was £10m costs between the four parties. No one gained anything from it. Think what the money could have done for charity."

Precisely. Which leads Patten first to an observation and then a question. The observation:

"Litigation is and for the foreseeable future will be a necessary step for many firms but it should be a point of last resort than a 1st point of call. The key question to ask here is whether there was an alternative to litigation. (I think Gorman indicates there was.)"

For Patten, that observation raises the question:

"Are lawyers really ready to embrace litigation avoidance? I wonder if the lawyers most likely to see the benefits of this will be the in-house lawyers who may be more aligned to the commercial needs of their firm than those lawyers in private practice."

As for lawyers' readiness to embrace litigation avoidance, I suspect we all know the answer.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on April 23, 2007 at 06:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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