Companies can be complex—especially from a legal perspective. With Fortune 500 companies overseeing the activities of roughly 17% of the country’s workforce, large companies and even smaller companies will inevitably face a plethora of legal issues. Workplace discrimination. Harassment. Insider trading. The risks are endless—and can be overwhelming for in-house counsel to oversee and deal with.
If your company faces a lawsuit from your employees, executives, or shareholders, you’ll need to ensure you and your fellow in-house attorneys can preserve and produce the right evidence for trial. You’ll need to be savvy with the latest technologies and data collection techniques to not only meet ethics requirements but also ensure you’re properly collecting and preserving relevant evidence to achieve optimal outcomes for settlements or verdicts. Beyond this, you’ll need to prepare your officers, representatives, and other corporate designees for the inevitable depositions they’ll be facing, since any taped footage they end up in could be played at trial. With video, you’ll have the ability to help your company in all these aspects and more. Here are four ways video can help your company when it comes to litigation.
- Prepare Your Corporate Designees for Depositions and Court
Companies involved in litigation must produce one or more “corporate designees” to give testimony that binds the organization at trial. FRCP Rule 30(b)(6) states these designees could be executives, board members, employees, or other individuals who consent to speak on behalf of the company on relevant matters during depositions and litigation. The rule also requires companies to prepare their chosen designees for depositions and in-trial testimony, since all designees the company selects must speak on information known or reasonably available to the organization. While you’ll have a large pool of potential designees to choose from, you’ll still need to coach them through how they should respond to high-pressure situations at the deposition table or courtroom. The right video tools can allow your in-house team to better train your corporate designees so that they can be effective in any litigation-related environment. By filming mock depositions, direct examinations, and cross-examinations with your attorneys, you can prepare your designees for what to expect from their depositions and court appearances. You can also give members of your outside counsel team access to these videos to provide further input and training.
- Document Your Legal Hold Process
Once companies face the possibility or reality of impending litigation, they have a duty under FRCP Rule 37(e) to take reasonable steps to preserve relevant electronically stored information (ESI). In doing so, in-house attorneys must work with their IT departments to document potential sources of relevant ESI and identify, collect, and preserve that ESI to prevent risks of spoliation. Companies that fail to take this process risk overcoming court-issued sanctions in favor of your adversaries. These rulings can include adverse inferences, enhanced access to your experts and stakeholders, reimbursement of attorneys’ and motion fees related to recovering spoiled evidence, dismissal of your claims, or even default judgments. To mitigate these risks, companies will need to identify key litigation stakeholders and send them notices advising them of their duty to preserve relevant evidence and disclose sources that could contain that evidence. You’ll also need to conduct intake interviews with these so-called custodians—which you can do in-person. By videotaping these interviews and storing them on an encrypted video system, you can document your ESI collection procedures in ways that adequately demonstrate you took reasonable steps to preserve relevant ESI. Showing that your organization had these processes in place could help you avoid sanctions should your stakeholders inadvertently lose relevant ESI.
- Assist Outside Counsel with Key Litigation Tasks
Once litigation arises, your in-house counsel team should do whatever it can to limit your outside counsel’s role to essential litigation tasks. Doing so can help reduce your litigation spend, especially given that some multinational firms charge more than $1,000 per partner per hour for their best-performing partners. With the consent of all involved, you can videotape virtual and in-person meetings, interviews, and exit interviews with key litigation stakeholders, and then organize them into unique case folders for easy access and retrieval on your encrypted in-house video platform. Afterward, you can allow outside counsel to securely review those videos anywhere on any device as they determine the next steps for your litigation strategy. If you need to produce transcripts of these videos to outside counsel, it’s easy to do so on advanced platforms. On ours, simply run keyword searches to find pertinent clips, and then export these files with a few clicks. If you need to produce transcripts of trial sessions and depositions, request our in-house staff to create them within 1-2 business days. You can also allow outside counsel members residing in different states to listen in and participate in depositions via live video feed, which can be especially important for reducing travel and participation fees in MDL cases, class-action lawsuits, and multijurisdictional litigation.
- Preparing Key Stakeholders for On-Camera Interviews and Presentations
Legal concerns can arise in any scenario involving live recordings, including on-air media interviews and public speaking engagements. While there’s only so much you can do to prepare for the unpredictability of live talks and Q&As, you can be strategic and efficient in your preparation efforts by using video. With your in-house camera recording equipment, you can run mock questions by executives on camera and replay your preparation footage to discuss feedback and go over on-camera presentation tips. After uploading these videos onto your platform’s private on-demand video, your legal team can analyze your stakeholders’ practice sessions and responses for potential liability issues involving shareholder lawsuits, defamation, and more so that they can advise accordingly. In-house counsel could also allow marketing and sales departments to take advantage of their high-fidelity cameras and sound systems to produce sales videos, recruitment videos, marketing presentations, and webinars. Your in-house attorneys can then review them and run keyword searches against these videos to find clips that raise problematic claims and other liability issues.
CaptureCast Legal helps in-house attorneys of all levels of technical experience competently manage day-to-day discovery and litigation concerns. Contact us to see how CaptureCast Legal can boost your in-house team’s litigation capabilities.