It’s almost always better for an association to prevent a lawsuit than to defend one. We know this. Therefore, in addition to services outlined above regarding rule drafting and member discipline, our attorneys also help associations identify potential areas of exposure and then identify ways to reduce risk in those problem areas. We can summarize recommendations and present them to association executives, governance bodies, staff members or the membership itself as appropriate and as directed. Recommendations can normally be protected by the attorney-client privilege, allowing our attorneys to provide candid and helpful proposals for consideration. Oftentimes, these preventative measures save organizations from costly and embarrassing litigation over errors that can be easily avoided.
Even a deliberate litigation prevention plan cannot prevent all mistakes or preempt all legal claims by members, support staff or third parties. To provide quality services to its members, an association employs staff members, contracts for products and services, owns or leases property, hosts events, conducts meetings, creates and retains records and otherwise serves a prominent role in the community or industry. Each of an association’s many functions may create the risk of liability – or at least the risk of litigation. In those instances, an association needs counsel to navigate the complex waters of litigation and our attorneys are prepared to represent associations’ interests in state and federal courts around the country. As some litigation costs may be covered by insurance, we also work with insurers to provide a defense to covered claims. If necessary, our Association Law attorneys have immediate access to attorneys in other disciplines of this full-service law firm, together with a nationwide network of quality lawyers.