Sowing wind may cause whirlwind.

Blawgletter admits to a fine obsession with the notion of risk, largely because every business case that goes to trial involves it.  That includes "litigation risk" — the irreducible chance that something may go horribly wrong.  Plaintiffs lawyers count on litigation risk when demanding supersize settlements (and accepting littler ones), and defense lawyers embrace it when justifying their hourly fees. 

Blawgletter also concedes an affection for biblical analogies.  Look!  Here one comes now: 

The minor prophet Hosea, in the Bible book that carries his name, used a marvelous phrase to evoke the risk of bad behavior.  Writing about a sinful and idolatrous Israel and prophesying Yahweh’s eventual reaction, Hosea said that "they have sown the wind and will reap the whirlwind."  Hosea 8:7.  Israel of course didn’t want to stir up a rampaging whirlwind; it wanted a pleasant breeze.  Hosea nonetheless predicted that Israel’s high-risk conduct would meet a bad end.

In business cases, as in ancient Israel, taking unnecessary risks invites negative outcomes.  Make sure therefore not to provoke the risk god in litigation without good cause and or disproportionately to your needs.  Else the risk god may smite you with a mighty tornado of a bad verdict.

Barry Barnett

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