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At some point in a general counsel’s career, this formula inevitably will kick in:

denied summary judgment + failed mediation = looming trial date

What’s a GC to do when the court coordinator calls and says, “Come pick a jury on Monday”?

Rule No. 1: Always be litigating (ABL). With apologies to the film “Glengarry Glen Ross,” remember to ABL. Trial preparation begins before a plaintiff files suit. A company’s response to an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charge stakes out its position on a discrimination claim: Make it accurate, or get blistered at trial on inconsistent positions. Before submission it’s a good idea to have the corporate counsel or the human resources manager — someone who’s once-removed from the now-disputed decision — read, review and approve the response, and to have the line managers for whom there was no degree of separation read it.

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