As a trial lawyer who has conducted many complex intellectual property case kickoffs between inside and outside counsel teams, I’ve discovered that covering five key questions during that first meeting provides a dependable format for success. These questions (amplified with good listening skills, experience and good ideas) help everyone get on the same page early in the game. Better, asking these questions and getting them answered upfront results in a shared plan for control of the case, communications, cost and a case-winning strategy.
1. What are the business goals of the case?
More accurately, perhaps, what are the budget and financial considerations you are dealing with that I need to be aware of as I try to forecast and budget, and as I update you on developments that will impact cost? It may be hard to get confident about what a dispute might cost at the first meeting, but it may not be as hard to be specific about how much the case is worth to the business. Then you can plug that information into “what do we get if we win?” and make some cost-benefit decisions about tactics and strategy for the case, and the range of acceptable outcomes that factor in the cost.