Chevron spends more than $60 million on outside law firms that handle its litigation reports Refining Litigation (Corporate Counsel, Dec. 2003). A new general counsel who started one year ago has instituted a program to develop best practices in litigation. 

Charles James, the new GC, charged 8 inhouse lawyers with “drafting a better plan for handling litigation from start to finish.” He also invited a panel of 8 outside litigators to provide insight on how the company could better manage litigation. The new set of improved litigation practices is still under development. The article reports that it will include a new litigation management specialist position, the composition of the litigation team, how work should be allocated among the team, and how the team should communicate.

While the article does not explicitly mention technology, it will be interesting to see if Chevron publishes its guidelines and if these guidelines explicitly cover technology best practices. In my opinion, any plan should include quite a bit about technology. Examples include the use of spreadsheets for budgets and variance analysis, discovery management practices for paper and digital data (including collecting, processing, and reviewing files), standards for when formal risk analysis should be used, approaches to and tools for trial presentation, and a process to capture lessons learned at the end of the matter.