Law Practice

Free Advice to Mattel: Use 'Iron Triangle'


As Mattel Inc. faces its second toy recall in two weeks over lead-paint issues, a lawyer reportedly is offering some free advice—use the “Iron Triangle Defense.”

In plain English, those handling Mattel’s litigation, public-relations and government regulatory work need to put their heads together to figure out how best to handle the situation as a unified front, explains Victor Schwartz of Shook Hardy & Bacon to the Wall Street Journal law blog. A Washington, D.C. lawyer, Schwartz heads the firm’s public policy practice.

“You’re not going to believe me … but often you’ve got these three departments within a company working in three different silos when something like this happens,” he tells the Journal in a lengthy discussion of advice he would give Mattel, or another company facing a situation over a problem product, if asked. “They’re not even talking to each other.”

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