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6 Questions on the Power — and Limits — of Litigation Communications

The majority of work referred to Hennes Communications comes from attorneys, who are often “first responders” when bad things happen to good companies and organizations.  Subsequently, we’re often retained by the attorney or law firm in order to help assist them in preparation for trial.  It’s called “litigation communications” and here’s a great piece on the subject written by a professional colleague, Julie Talenfeld, writing for the Daily Business Review:

Your firm is representing a client involved in a high-profile lawsuit. You know the matter is locally, regionally, even nationally newsworthy. Whether the plaintiff or respondent or defendant, your client has a story to tell or a message to share.

Whether you’re first out of the gate with a media message, or responding to opposing counsel’s public statements, your message or response can be critical to ensuring your side is heard. This can be especially true for matters being tried in court, and the court of public opinion.

Sharing them appropriately, tastefully and within the bounds of the state bar association regulations can ensure your message is embraced by recipients and not thwarted by regulatory powers.

Litigation communications can be critical to any law firm’s marketing program. Along with advertising, blogging and marketing communications, media relations can be central to getting the firm’s message out to journalists and their readers.

What is the appropriate and allowable venue for your firm to share your client’s message or response to opposing counsel’s comments?

Some abhor the concept of “trying their case in the media.” To be sure, there are appropriate and inappropriate, even improper, times to take your story public. Sometimes, however, it’s unavoidable or “just happens” if the media learns of your matter and inquires, thus forcing a response.

How can your firm effectively and appropriately execute on litigation communications? Media relations often is the solution. This highly specialized and sensitive niche within the greater scope of marketing communications can be effective in driving firm, client, or litigation-specific messaging.

Consider these six questions when establishing a communications plan designed for specific litigation.

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