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Early case assessment and 80 percent known in 60 days (Schering-Plough)

The litigation group of Schering-Plough has begun to conduct early case assessments of its major disputes. “Within the first 60 days our outside counsel is charged with giving us an early assessment of the case. The firms are charged with looking at documents, interviewing witnesses, examining pleadings, preparing a damages analysis, and other steps as necessary. According to PD Villareal, the pharma company’s VP of Litigation and Conflicts Management, in an interview in Met. Corp. Counsel, Feb. 2006 at 47, 51, “in 60 days… you will know 80 percent of what you will ever know about a case.”

Villareal, who came from General Electric, believes that “most of the time, that knowledge is enough to make rational and intelligent decisions about resolving a case.”

A bold claim, it seems to me, and especially so if it is made regarding lawsuits that are deemed major. Still, even if overstated, the rationale and goals of ECA are admirable.