During a crisis, it is important to engage legal counsel early in the process both for strategy and to preserve attorney-client privilege.
Many crises start out as legal issues or will lead to legal issues, and it is important to protect your strategy and communications from the other side. Here are a couple of quick tips to help, but remember that everything you say in an email or write down is likely discoverable.
Quick Legal Checklist
- Include legal counsel in strategy calls
- Include legal counsel in all correspondence, particularly when developing strategy and content documents
- Get sign-off on strategy and communications from legal counsel
- Get regular updates from the legal team on case developments, particularly on upcoming legal events that may garner media coverage
- Be mindful of what is included in any written correspondence, emailed or otherwise
- For sensitive issues, pick up the phone
- Include the following statement in e-mails and any written documents and include legal counsel as a recipient: “Prepared at the direction of counsel in anticipation of litigation. Attorney work product.”
- All other crisis e-mails in which legal counsel is involved, or should be involved, add the following wording in the subject line: Privileged and Confidential
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