As lawyers, we can be pretty single-minded. After all, we have a job to do – protect our clients’ interests. As litigators, one of our key jobs is to move discovery along. There are deadlines to observe, answers to get, documents to retrieve, etc. However, a single-mindedness possessed by counsel concerning discovery can sometimes interfere with his or her clients’ business interests. In this blog entry, I’m specificially thinking about case management during the holiday season for those attorneys representing retailers.
From late November through the end of December, it is the busiest time of year for retailers. Despite what they say on television or in the newspapers about the economy, the stores are still packed with customers, looking for gifts for their loved ones, friends, etc. Accordingly, retailers need all hands on deck who are focused on serving their customers. What they don’t need are associates sitting in depositions or doing document/email searches. What this means for lawyers who represent these retailers is that they need to lay off their clients as much as possible during these crucial weeks. To that end, see what you can do to postpone depositions until early January. Find out if you can get an extension on that discovery. Unless there is some sort of court order mandating attendance at a proceeding or completion of a particular activity, most things can wait.
Understanding your clients’ business endears them to you. To the contrary, making their lives difficult during the time of year where their profitability depends on performance may make them seek other counsel the next time around.