CRISIS MISMANAGEMENT – For in-house counsel, one of the hardest things about managing a crisis is being able to distinguish a true emergency from a run-of-the-mill problem. But, as panelists noted during ALM’s Women Influence and Power in Law Conference in Washington, D.C., last week, a miscalculation in that regard can easily turn a minor issue into a full-blown crisis. “If it can be controlled, it’s not a crisis,” said Gina Rubel, CEO of Furia Rubel Communications, a marketing and PR firm in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. “Sometimes as attorneys we may view something as a crisis and it may not necessarily be. Most incidents can be controlled and may not have to become a crisis. Oftentimes, we create the crisis ourselves,” she added. As Law.com’s Trudy Knockless reports, Rubel was a panelist for a session titled “Legal’s Active Role in Managing a PR Crisis.” Rubel’s fellow panelist, Stacia Cardille, strategy director for legislative oversight at Google, said that, when an organization is dealing with a crisis, one of the most important things legal can do is project calm and present a moderated approach. “The other thing that can be very helpful is creating a privileged and confidential single source of truth document. It would just be that one place where you’re trying to gather as much information about the incident as possible,” she said.
GETTING SCHOOLED – Higher education has long been a source of business for Big Law. But now, Law.com’s Andrew Maloney reports, law firms now are responding to a surge in business from colleges facing renewed questions on immigration and affirmative action, as well as new ones from COVID-19, sports betting and athlete compensation. Law firm leaders say they’ve seen an increase in need from universities, and several firms from the Am Law 100 on down have launched new groups over the last few years to handle it. “We’ve seen an enormous uptick in demand, really exceeding our expectations,” said Ishan Bhabha, a partner at Jenner & Block and co-chair of the firm’s education practice. “As someone who spends most of my time working for institutions of higher education, that is absolutely correct.” He said it’s difficult to pinpoint a single cause, especially since colleges have been a locus of controversy for decades. But he said universities were “certainly in the crosshairs” during the Trump administration with conservative free-speech challenges and policies related to immigration, for example.
ON THE RADAR – Revlon, L’Oreal and other defendants were hit with a product liability lawsuit Friday in New York Southern District Court over hair straightening products marketed to African American customers. The court case was filed on behalf of an individual plaintiff who alleges that she developed uterine cancer as a result of exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals in the defendants’ products. The suit is backed by DiCello Levitt and Bullock Ward Mason LLC. Counsel have not yet appeared for the defendants. The case is 1:22-cv-09008, Terrell v. Revlon Consumer Products Corp. et al. Stay up on the latest deals and litigation with the new Law.com Radar.
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