Crisis Management for Attorneys & Their Clients
Thursday, December 19, 2019 – 3.00 hours CLE
Registration at 8:30 a.m.
Program: 9:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
- 3.00 Hours CLE credit Requested
As almost any general counsel of a large, publicly traded, consumer-oriented company will tell you, legal controversies today are tried in the Court of Public Opinion — at least as much as in any Court of Law. Every organization, especially large, publicly-traded corporations, has much to gain (or lose) by the way a legal controversy is positioned in the media. Because the value of a company’s reputation is immeasurable — and perhaps its largest uninsured asset — a corporation loses when the brand image is tarnished, even if the corporation technically wins at trial. Furthermore, since most legal controversies are settled prior to trial, the Court of Public Opinion has arguably become the most important battleground affecting not only good will and market share, but legal bargaining power and settlement negotiations. Managing this battleground, therefore, has become integral to many corporations’ legal strategies.
Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics
“An attorney’s duties do not begin inside the courtroom door.”
Gentile vs. State Bar of Nevada
In these days of 24/7 instant news, where Twitter and Facebook exponentially amplify crisis situations, attorneys, law firms and their clients simply cannot wait until a legal decision is rendered. They must be prepared to vigorously defend their position in a wide variety of venues, as well as media outlets.
Hennes Communications regularly works with and for outside and general counsel for corporations, government agencies, non-profits, schools, hospitals and educational institutions, helping them communicate their way through legal and reputational challenges ranging from criminal charges and claims of medical and professional malpractice to labor and employment issues, food and product liability issues, ownership and transition disputes that threaten the very existence of an organization. They are practiced in the art of working with attorneys and, in fact, are frequently brought in by attorneys who recognize the value they bring to the table. They often work with legal teams by immediately preparing for the Court of Public Opinion so their client is not declared “guilty” before they can even be heard in the Court of Law.
This seminar includes: establishing & maintaining “control of the message”; when a reporter calls – making your points and not just answering questions; reporter’s agenda vs. the attorney’s agenda; dealing with the press proactively and reactively.
Bruce Hennes is CEO of Hennes Communications, one of the few firms in North America focused exclusively on crisis management and crisis communications.
Located on the 32nd floor of Terminal Tower, with a satellite office in Akron, Hennes Communications serves government agencies, corporations, manufacturers, education and healthcare institutions -- as well as law firms and their clients -- that are “on trial” in the Court of Public Opinion.
With over 40 years’ experience in communications, Bruce and the firm’s past and present clients include the Cleveland Host Committee for the 2016 Republican National Convention, the American Public Power Association, Avery Dennison, Lubrizol, Kent State University and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, as well as scores of law firms and municipalities across the continent.
Bruce has served for ten years on the executive committee of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association where he chairs the bar association’s Governance Committee. He is also an adjunct professor at Cleveland State University’s Levin College of Urban Affairs.
Recently, he was named to the Lawdragon 100 Leading Consultants and Strategists, the definitive guide to the financiers, recruiters, marketing and communication gurus on whom the legal profession relies. According to Lawdragon, "These are 100 of the most trusted advisors to the legal profession."
- $100- CMBA Members
- $150 - Non-Members
- $80 - Government, Non-Profit and New (less than 1 year) Attorneys
- $80 - Affiliate members (non-attorney, no CLE