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Competitive bids: should you exclude a good idea by an unsuccessful bidder?

When reviewing competitive bids from law firms, should you keep a good ide of one firm from the other firms?

Here’s what troubles me. A firm, competing to handle a group of lawsuits might, hypothetically, propose to conduct for free a time-and-motion study of your litigation support center, and no other firm included that breakthrough idea. If you do not select that law firm to represent you in the cases, is it ethical to suggest that idea to the finalists or the winning firm?

Of course, of course, the boilerplate in your RFP says that all proposals become your property, but still it nags at me. If there is a law firm reader out there, what do you think is fair? If I had to make the call, I would include the new idea. Creative firms will be remembered, and they will keep creating.

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