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Public figure talking to the media, reporters holding microphones at news conferenceUnderstanding the power of the press is a critical part of a well-rounded litigation strategy. Litigators tend to focus solely on telling a story in the courtroom despite the fact that publicity can be just as important as the client actually winning in court.

The single most important part of a press strategy is a story that has emotional impact—i.e., a story that “sings.” Develop it as early as possible in the life of the case, stay on message, and communicate the message broadly. Whomever controls the narrative wins—again, whether winning in court or not.

Effective use of the press can minimize or even neutralize litigation risk. The client can roll the dice in ways that a myopic focus on litigation alone will not permit. The days of using “no comment” or having no press strategy are over.

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