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Resolutions from an Embattled CEO

December 31, 1862 Dear Shareholders, You brought me in two years ago to deal with what we all hoped would be a situation that could be settled through negotiations rather than a complete schism. That was not to be. As you know, shortly before I took office a group of ...
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The Many Faces of Fredo, or, Due Diligence in the Real World – Part Four: Home is Where the Dirt Is

I'm a little worried about this Sollazzo fellow. I want you to find out what he's got under his fingernails. --Don Corleone to Luca Brasi, Godfather I We return to continue your investigation on potential business partner Frederico “Fredo” Corleone. Depending on the scope decisions made at the beginning of ...
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The Many Faces of Fredo, or, Due Diligence in the Real World – Part Three: The Cost of Blood

I don't like violence, Tom. I'm a businessman; blood is a big expense. --Virgil Sollazzo, Godfather I Welcome back. This week you continue your careful path to crafting a diligence investigation on Frederico “Fredo” Corleone, your client’s new potential business partner. Last week, you agreed to a “basic background, nothing ...
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The Many Faces of Fredo, Or, Due Diligence When the Godfather Comes Knocking – Part Two: Dangerous Women

In Sicily, women are more dangerous than shotguns. --Calo, Godfather I Last week, we learned that your client is interested in going into business with an exciting Las Vegas club owner and fantastic host named Frederico Corleone. Now, you have no choice but to start deciding where to take this ...
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The Many Faces of Fredo, or, Due Diligence When the Godfather Comes Knocking – Part One: The Club Owner

Scope is a dirty word. It is often the most critical set of decisions you will make with regard to the job you are asking your investigator to perform, and as you know, it is a primary factor in the final bill. Unfortunately, there are two sets of realities at ...
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The Lost Painting- how a fresh set of eyes made all the difference

It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found Luke 15:32 It hung in abject isolation in a small monastery in Ireland. Seen every day, but never really seen. Unnoticed and unappreciated ...
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You Can FOIA a FOIA (Seriously) – And You Should Probably Care (Seriously)

With words we begin to leave traces behind us like breadcrumbs: memories in symbols for others to follow. Ants deploy their pheromones, trails of chemical information; Theseus unwound Ariadne's thread. Now, people leave paper trails. -- James Gleick From alien hunters to government conspiracists to seasoned litigators, the Freedom of ...
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Part 2- Purgatory- Dante and Early Case Assessment- there is light at the end of the tunnel

For better waters, now, the little bark of my poetic powers hoists its sails, and leaves behind that cruelest of the seas Purgatory- Canto 1 Summary of Part 1- Inferno: Even though you live a life of unparalleled virtue (at least from time to time), you find yourself once again ...
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Part 1- Inferno- Dante and Early Case Assessment- there is light at the end of the tunnel

You see it every night. The television volume goes up several decibels, and suddenly you're confronted with a law firm seeking clients who used your product. A few months later the litigation starts to roll in from all over the country and you're confronted with the reality of dealing with ...
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From juicy grapes to wrinkled raisins – solutions for 4 types of facts that can lead to sticky situations

Whenever you see flies or insects in a still life- a wilted petal, a black spot on the apple- the painter is giving you a secret message. He's telling you that living things don't last- it's all temporary The Goldfinch You make an assumption going in that the facts will ...
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The D-Day Invasion and Large-Scale Litigation- taking lessons on planning from Eisenhower and Patton

June 6, 1944 Nothing could have been more dependent on planning than the D-Day Invasion. While Eisenhower valued the activities involved in planning more than the plans themselves: Plans are worthless, but planning is everything Patton just wanted to get moving: A good plan violently executed now is better than ...
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Jury Research- Kasting for the Keepers

Much is now being written about searching jury information online and what happens when the lawyer blunders by crossing ethical boundaries. But, what has not been discussed is: what happens when you blunder- not by crossing ethical boundaries- but by crossing incompetence boundaries? What happens when you jump to conclusions ...
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Seneca on Fact Investigations: Revisiting the obvious

Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4BC-AD65), the Roman Stoic philosopher, provides us with 2000-year-old practical wisdom for dealing with fact investigations, particularly those involving mass tort. In The Epistles, Seneca discussed the importance of focusing on the obvious even though some might think it unnecessary since it is in fact- obvious. ------------------------- ...
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Robinson Crusoe on Venue Analysis: Reconnoitering in unfamiliar territory

Settlement talks didn’t work. And now you’re heading to a little town where you’ve never been to try a case before people you’ve never seen. You don’t know the language, customs or connections within the community. But your opponent is a native, and knows the inner workings of the entire ...
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The Oracle at Delphi on Picking a Jury: You found their Facebook- now what?

Of all the stories of Ancient Greece, few capture the imagination as much as the Oracle of Delphi. Human mistress of the great Apollo, the Oracle had the power to enter into ecstatic union with him and bring back his prophecies and counsel for all who came seeking answers. Residing ...
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Welcome!

It looks like Ellie saved you a seat in the back. Writing about me. I just hate that thought because this blog is not about me. It’s about connecting and communicating and finding a select group of new friends who share many of life’s challenges and triumphs- both on a ...
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