Damage Control

When controversial filmmaker Michael Moore marched two Columbine High School shooting victims into Kmart's corporate headquarters demanding refunds for the bullets still lodged in their bodies, executives had to think fast.

"He came in and said 'I am not leaving until you do something about firearms,'" said Michelle Gluck, who was Kmart's associate GC at the time of Moore's visit and is now executive vice president and general counsel of Land?? 1/2 America Financial Group Inc. "Kmart's CEO made a decision on the spot to discontinue selling ammunition."

"You need people whom you can drop into a situation to identify all the different channels where success might be achieved," Kim said. By establishing relationships with key military personnel, Kim and his colleagues were able to better manage the process of aiding the Reuters employees.

Sometimes the best skills to confront unforeseeable crises are innate and can't be learned. And sometimes a triumphant resolution is just plain luck. But when evidence points to future problems, counsel have no excuse not to put prophylactic measures in place.

"You want to have an organized and cohesive strategy for dealing with a crisis, and some of that's legal and some of it's tactical and some of it's press," Kim said. "But if you try to do it in isolation, or if you have individual executives going off in different directions, it's very counterproductive for everyone."

staff Writer

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