Corporate America is no stranger to the courtroom, and while the pandemic slowed many of us down, in-house counsel had no respite. In a recent survey of over 300 in-house counsel respondents, 47% reported an increase in the number of legal disputes compared to 2019. Let’s not kid ourselves; even before the world shut down, best practices demanded that businesses large and small apportion a percentage of the company’s annual budget to legal departments. Why? Because corporate litigation isn’t just budgeted for, it’s expected.
For well over a century, corporate litigation has been as much a part of doing business as paying salaries and filing your taxes. While the circumstances clouding these legal disputes have changed throughout the years, lax employee communications are increasingly finding their way to the center of these legal disputes. From Slacks riddled with racist memes to employee emails leaking intellectual property, it’s estimated that 90% of corporations are involved in some type of litigation annually. Faced with near-certainty, the evidence begs the question: what are legal departments doing to get ahead of the curve?
Anticipate your threats
As leaders of corporate legal departments, you’re likely aware of the types of litigation your company could potentially face. Even a cursory review of past lawsuits will surface patterns that aid in planning and managing your company’s future legal risks. For instance, the emergence of the gig economy has created millions of jobs across the country, from food delivery to ride-sharing services. In this vertical, general counsels (“GCs”) are more likely to anticipate an employee misclassification lawsuit than companies that don’t depend on contract workers. Similarly, tech giants operating in the social media sector are probably more sensitive to anti-trust litigation than budding start-ups with under 20 employees. Regardless of your industry, knowing where your legal risk lives is the first step to mitigating it.
Gauge your tolerance
While seasoned GCs can anticipate potential lawsuits and reduce the chances of exposure that lead to litigation, they cannot eliminate all legal risks. Legal risks should be prioritized from high to low, focusing on the high-risk areas with appropriate resources allocated for prevention. For instance, why do corporations pay for contract management solutions? In part, to employ contract templates with boilerplate language for commonly used clauses to avoid duplicative work and sloppy mistakes that may have legal repercussions. Thus, if you standardized your contract workflows to mitigate associated risks and prevent potential litigation for your attorney-employees, what safeguards are in place to protect your lay employees in their day-to-day work?
Mitigate your risk
In the past few years, the advancements made in artificial intelligence (“AI”) and natural language processing (“NLP”) have been nothing short of breakthroughs in the way computers understand the way we communicate. Cutting-edge developments like BERT and transformers have opened up the doors for language-based applications like LitLingo to empower legal departments to flip the outdated expectation of how in-house counsel reacts to the latest legal dispute to how they can prevent the next one in real-time.
Empower your organization to manage your communications risk profile by stopping damaging messages before they are ever sent. Our platform was purpose-built to mitigate litigation risks associated with damaging language that diverges from company policy. LitLingo monitors all communications in popular channels like email, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zendesk, providing real-time feedback to users to ensure that they are in compliance and your assets are protected.