Friday, February 24, 2017

Responding to a Trump Attack: A Law Firm’s Guidelines

The prestigious New York firm of Cleary Gottlieb has issued a five page memo on how its clients should respond to a social media attack, clearly focusing on a Trump Twitter attack. The advice is very lawyer-like—full or pros and cons, very thoughtful, very measured:

Crisis plans maintained by public companies for other circumstances may provide useful guidance for how to respond to a politician’s social media attack (an “SMA”). However, every type of crisis raises unique concerns and considerations. Many companies should carefully consider the appropriate response to an SMA in advance.

This note is intended to aid public companies for a discussion at the board level concerning SMAs. It covers three main areas that public companies should specially consider: (i) governance, (ii) executive compensation and employment-related issues and (iii) communications, and provides senior legal advisors with an outline of relevant considerations.

While the principal considerations relevant to responding to an SMA will not typically be legal concerns, corporate governance considerations constitute threshold legal issues and employment-related and communications considerations implicate important legal issues.

By issuing the guidelines, the firm indicates how fearful its clients are that the President might single them out. You can read the document for yourself here.


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Thanks for posting this, Lou. I will share it with my legal-blogging class. We have been talking about the idea of Trump-administration law blogs as a new niche. This example shows a classic genre of "public legal writing" (the client alert) expanding to encompass new issues.

Posted by: Jennifer Romig | Feb 25, 2017 5:24:15 AM

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