Up front we want people to know that California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse is not a Grinch about the holidays. Just like everyone else, we get in the spirit and want to have an enjoyable holiday season. However, one thing we have come to realize is that the holiday season also comes with its share of lawsuits. And a case in point is the annual holiday party.

Holiday parties, whether in the home or at the office, seem like the time to unwind and give into the holiday spirit (no pun intended). However, those parties can create additional liability and unfortunate lawsuits if hosts do not exercise caution. As we are all aware, lawsuits happen all the time for seemingly any reason. The stakes are raised even higher when alcohol is involved.

In our overly-litigious society, party planners and hosts need to be familiar with social host liability. Here are a few tips to ensure your guests are as safe as possible and help you avoid a lawsuit:

Plan transportation, including designated drivers.

Have ample and appealing non-alcoholic beverages for designated drivers and guests.

Consider having a bus or taxi service for your employees if there is a holiday party.

Avoid having a self-service bar. Use a bartender who is experienced in identifying underage drinkers and intoxicated guests.

Halt the flow of alcoholic beverages long before the party ends.

Take action if a guest overindulges, and do not let the guest attempt to drive.

While it is the season for giving, we would rather receive a Yule Log than a lawsuit as a gift. We hope you all have a wonderful holiday season that is lawsuit free!