新冠肺炎和诉讼风险:企业如何应对诉讼或沉淀诉讼的COVID-19事件?

外卖

  1. 尽早并经常让律师参与,以保持特权并降低风险。
  2. 采取关键步骤来降低风险,包括保存记录,采访证人并通知保险公司。

概要:This last installment of the three-part series on litigation 和 新冠肺炎, covering risks, mitigation, 和 disputes, identifies key actions to consider in the 事件 of litigation or a litigation-precipitating 事件, such as confirmation of 新冠肺炎 on the premises.

介绍

As the 新冠肺炎 pandemic continues, businesses should consider developing an action plan in the 事件 of litigation or a 新冠肺炎 related litigation-precipitating 事件. As businesses slowly re-open, the potential for litigation persists 和 businesses should be prepared to 地址 potential litigation flowing from the new risks presented by 新冠肺炎.

This is the third blog post in a three-part series on litigation 和 新冠肺炎, covering risks, mitigation, 和 disputes. While we have previously written 关于 the 企业可能面临的风险 and 企业可以利用的缓解步骤, this last installment identifies key actions to consider in the 事件 of litigation or a litigation-precipitating 事件, such as confirmation of 新冠肺炎 on the premises.

In the 事件 of a 新冠肺炎 related crisis, consider the following:
 

  • 保留法律顾问和专家: 法律顾问可以为您提供战略和法律建议。法律顾问可以协助评估潜在诉讼中的风险,并帮助创建和维护对敏感记录的特权。

    专家可以为关键决策提供有用的指导,帮助与公共当局进行谈判,并指导公共关系声明。在未来的诉讼程序中,表明业务决策受专家建议指导,您的业务可能会受益。法律顾问和专家在以下所述的其他考虑中也可能起重要作用。
     

  • 通知您的保险公司: Ensure you have a complete 和 current copy of your insurance policies, 和 consider retaining counsel to review your policies in light of current 新冠肺炎 related risks. Your insurance broker can provide you with full copies of your policies 和 provide information on additional coverage that you may want to consider, including insurance for your company’s directors 和 officers. You should be aware of, 和 comply with, any obligations of the insured in your policies. If you become aware of a litigation-precipitating 事件 or a claim, you should notify your insurer immediately, including to avoid any suggestion by your insurer that coverage has been voided by reason of delay of notice.
     

  • 避免创建灾难性电子邮件: Schedule a meeting with your team to discuss any sensitivities regarding written communications. To the extent your team members have questions regarding the management of litigation or a litigation-precipitating 事件, encourage verbal discussions instead of 电子邮件 correspondence. Alternatively, make sure legal counsel is involved early in order to increase the likelihood that such communications are privileged.
     

  • 查看适用合同: 审查关键合同并确定由于COVID-19而导致的任何相关义务,潜在的违约和通知要求。法律顾问还可以协助此类合同审查以及任何潜在的风险缓解策略。
     

  • 识别,定位和保存记录: Records that are relevant to the litigation or a litigation-precipitating 事件 must be preserved. Preserving records is important, both because these records can aid in your defence 和 because even inadvertent destruction of evidence can lead to allegations of spoliation. You should be able to demonstrate diligence in identifying, locating, 和 preserving relevant records. Legal counsel can help identify which records are likely to be relevant, as well as draft 和 issue a litigation hold memorandum to particular document custodians describing which records should be preserved in anticipation of, or in preparation for, litigation.
     

  • 识别和采访主要证人: 一旦确定了主要证人,则应在信息新鲜可用的同时获得详细的证人陈述。诉讼可能是一个漫长的过程,在此过程中,主要见证人可能会变得不可用或对您的业务产生不利影响。理想情况下,法律顾问参加证人访谈和起草证人陈述,以使这些记录受到特权的保护。
     

  • 内部和外部调查: 考虑是否需要进行内部调查或必须进行外部调查。可能需要进行监管调查,并遵循具体的通知和程序。您还可以选择进行非正式调查,这取决于调查的范围和目标,可能需要法律顾问或其他专家的协助。理想情况下,应保留与诉讼或其他监管程序有关的调查研究专家,以便通过律师聘用,以便享有特权。
     

  • 多司法管辖区争议的特殊注意事项: 如果您的企业在多个司法管辖区经营,则一个司法管辖区的纠纷可能会影响另一个司法管辖区的业务,并有可能使您的企业成为跨辖区诉讼的目标。采取统一的方法对您的业务很重要。在跨辖区的诉讼中,法律顾问和专家应协调并共同努力,以查明潜在的问题并建立统一的辩护。

结论

As the challenges facing businesses evolve 和 governments continue to issue 新冠肺炎 specific regulatory obligations 和 best practice guidance, litigation-precipitating 事件s related to 新冠肺炎 will be an ongoing issue. Businesses should take steps to mitigate their risks 和 have a plan to 地址 these precipitating 事件s before litigation is formally commenced. Engaging legal counsel 和 experts prior to litigation being commenced can aid businesses in proactively 和 pre-emptively knowing 和 satisfying their legal obligations, which can in turn be less expensive 和 time-consuming than defending an action, 和 help protect your business’ reputation.

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