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A law-department urban legend — the metric that calculates the cost of legal failure

The following quote, from the ACC Docket, Vol. 25, June 2007, at 83, may have been a general counsel wishing out loud, joshing the interviewer, or announcing a breakthrough metric. “One CLO said he intended to develop a metric based on ‘the cost of failure’ with failure being defined as any time the company gets into a dispute where the company paid more than originally obligated including for legal services, settlements or because of contract disputes, or even to address employee disgruntlement.”

This metric makes no sense. If something goes wrong with a contract, that’s a law department “failure”? Even if so, how do you figure out what should have been paid? Maybe the quote was garbled…