What to Do Before You Sue

By: Jeffrey S. Tenenbaum and Andrew E. Bigart

The U.S. Supreme Court has set a high bar for associations bringing lawsuits on behalf of their members. If you decide to go ahead, be prepared to show how the litigation will advance your organization's mission.

If you are an in-house lawyer for a trade or professional association, you probably spend a good amount of your time counseling the association and its members on the importance of complying with government regulations, industry-specific laws, and laws of general applicability, such as the antitrust laws. On occasion, however, the circumstances may flip, with members pushing your association to file a lawsuit on their behalf—perhaps to challenge a government regulation or to protect them from a perceived competitive threat. ...