According to our most recent Employment Law Thermometer, the absolute #1 workplace legal issue at the moment is how to prevent and manage litigation.

That’s not surprising. EEOC claims are at an all-time high. Class actions continue to rise. Employers now win less than 50% of the time in court.

We’re here to help. Based on input from the world’s leading employment law experts with a combined approximately 8,493,527,624 hours of employment counseling and litigation experience, here are our official …

Top 11 Litigation Tips in the History of the Universe

(Please note: Most top ten lists only go to ten. Ours go to eleven. We reallllly want you to get your money’s worth.)

#11. Investigate and document ALL claims. Even those against your CEO or superstar salespeople.

#10. Never ever ever ever retaliate. Retaliation is now the #1 most common claim filed with the EEOC. Please don’t join the crowd.

#9. Establish litigation budgets and use fixed/flat fees. Law firms love it when you don’t manage litigation costs closely. Make lawyers live by budgets just like everyone else.

#8. Conduct early case evaluations. Game plan your litigation strategy early on. If settlement is appropriate, do it before you rack up lots of attorneys’ fees.

#7. Follow your own policies and contracts. Judges and juries hate it when you don’t.

#6. If it ain’t job related, it ain’t job-related. Want to get sued for discrimination? Make decisions based on factors that aren’t 100% job-related.

#5. Address known and systemic issues. Now. Please. Especially wage & hour issues and especially in California.

#4. Model ethical behavior at the top. Want your whole organization to go under? Ignore this rule.

#3. Take the Mom Test. When all else fails, ask yourself this simple question before you make any employment decision: “What would my mother think?”

#2. Know the law. It’s changing faster than ever. Tune into the Blawg at least every 15 minutes to keep up.

#1. Love your employees. Treat others the way you’d like to be treated and you’re waaaaaaay less likely to wind up in court and/or jail.

(Stat Sources: Blawg, EEOC, Jury Verdict Research, McGuire Woods, Seyfarth Shaw, Fulbright)

Originally published on the Employment Blawg