Proposed Litigation Principles: The Ten Principles of Client First/Business First/Ethics First Litigation

Maloof & Browne LLC  have created a set of proposed non-binding litigation principles. Principles that it often attempts to agree upon in whole or in part with opposing counsel.  They are as follows:

The Ten Principles of Client First/Business First/Ethics First Litigation

1. The Parties will litigate only to the extent necessary to achieve their legitimate goals, without unnecessarily injuring or disrupting the other parties’ normal business affairs, and with the goal of resolution of their disputes at the earliest possible stage consistent with its being handled in a businesslike and ethical manner.

2. The Parties shall remain in maximum control of the litigation by holding an early off the record mediation, if necessary by telephone or Skype, and when possible even before commencing discovery.

3. The Parties shall use said mediation to attempt to settle all or part of the dispute, to narrow the issues in dispute and/or to prioritize the discovery process with an eye toward an early businesslike resolution and minimizing expense.

4. If there are critical issues remaining at the end of said mediation which could lead to a settlement of the dispute, the Parties shall attempt to take discovery concerning those issues first.

5. The Parties shall continue to have direct communications and/or mediation sessions on a regular basis (always copying counsel), which shall be off the record, preferably no less than once per month, until the litigation is resolved.

6. If expressly agreed to, any party or attorney may contact any other attorney or party directly, and, again, off the record, provided that the contacted party’s attorney participates or is copied on the communication.

7. Discovery shall in the first instance be focused on those matters which could lead to early resolution, and objections to such discovery should be as limited as possible.

8. Witness telephone interviews and/or short preliminary depositions by phone or Skype (while still reserving the right to take more formal depositions later) shall be preferred in the first instance where possible to provide factual context to the settlement talks.

9. The Parties shall be businesslike, courteous and ethical in dealing with one another at all times. They will give reasonable extensions. They shall conduct the litigation in a businesslike fashion, and shall not attempt to gain an advantage by the tactic of proffering excessive motion practice or utilizing heavy-handed litigation mechanisms.

10. These ten principles provide a framework which the Parties aspire to follow, even though they are non-binding and non-obligatory.