In an RFP process, a consultant recommends to tell all of the law firms the same thing: “Talk with anyone you’d like to discover how best to meet our needs, and we will answer questions in confidence.”
Ron Pol, writing in the ACC Docket, Vol. 25, Sept. 2007 at 23, disagrees squarely with my advice to funnel questions through a single point and publish the answers to all the firms (See my post of Oct. 24, 2007: 7 tips for better RFPs and the PDF of my article Download Rees Morrison Seven Tips for Better RFPs
.). He believes that with the controls I advocate no one will ask meaningful questions, firms will be less able to unearth and focus on your needs, and they will have their creativity stifled (See my post of March 30, 2008: RFP with 22 references.).
I fear that an information free-for-all improperly favors incumbent firms who know people in your company, burdens your law department, spawns inconsistent and erroneous information, and denies equal opportunity to all firms to learn equally.