Law.com In-House Counsel, May 26, 2006 (Daniel Panitz of Major, Lindsey & Africa), discusses succession planning for the general counsel position. The piece claims that an official backup general counsel is common, but I have never heard of one.
“It is customary for an organization’s board to coordinate with the CEO to ensure there is a designated GC successor in the event of an emergency. The GC is increasingly involved in this process. This emergency plan should be designed at the inception of the GC’s tenure.”
Wait. I understand the value of a succession plan, and I understand that sometimes a GC is unavailable and the next most knowledgeable lawyer might be deputized to make a decision or serve as the interim GC (Sears and Coca-Cola both did this recently), but I have never heard of a “designated GC successor,” let alone that having one is a customary practice.