Do law departments second-guess litigation counsel who try a case?

In the midst of a paean to “millions for defense, not a penny for tribute,” an article by Joseph Speelman in the ACC Docket, Vol. 26, Nov. 2008 at 34, quotes a litigation partner: The company ensures that he has “all the resources and support” he needs to “assess the case” but also that outside counsel will not be second-guessed” when the company decides to try a case.”

Second-guessing, that’s a harsh accusation. Does that mean the law department won’t poke its little nose into the big-dog law firm’s tactics and strategy? Does it mean the law department will clap its hands whatever the result of the trial? Are lessons learned and post mortems “second guessing”? Does it mean that business considerations play second fiddle to discovery, briefs, and closing arguments?

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