The court of public opinion has always played a major role in litigation. Major court battles, whether between corporates or families, make great headlines.
But for smaller business faced with the threat of legal action and without the deep pockets there is often no real option but to acquiesce.
This paper from the MIT Sloan Management Review raises some interesting points on how the small entrepreneur is fighting back, using social media to raise a war chest and garner public support. It calls it lawsourcing.
It is, the paper acknowledges, not particularly new, but is on the rise. A really interesting read.
Until recently, the mere threat of litigation and the prospect of a prolonged and costly lawsuit was often all that it took to persuade a smaller business to acquiesce to a larger competitor’s legal demands. But that’s changing. advertisement Large companies frequently exploit their vastly superior legal resources and capabilities to the disadvantage of smaller competitors. Frequently, the mere threat of litigation and the prospect of an expensive, prolonged lawsuit is all that is necessary to persuade a smaller business to acquiesce to the larger competitor’s legal demands. However, I have recently studied an emergent defensive strategy that turns the tables on large companies when they legally threaten smaller enterprises. The approach involves soliciting public support, typically through social media and public relations, in hopes of achieving a favorable outcome. I call this technique “lawsourcing.”