Deciding whether to dive into high-stakes litigation or back down from filing a lawsuit is one of the toughest choices that a general counsel can confront. Sometimes, though, the decision is straightforward. 

The latter was true for Appian Corp. General Counsel Christopher Winters, who said he and other leaders at the McLean, Virginia-based software company didn’t hesitate to litigate when they learned that rival Pegasystems Inc. had allegedly stolen their trade secrets.