TOP VERDICTS & WINNING
The National Law Journal
In this special report, we look at the 100 highest jury verdicts of 2011, as reported by affiliate VerdictSearch based on its surveys of the nation’s courts, reports from attorneys and reporting by ALM Media LLC publications. No. 1 was an eye-popping $150.4 billion against a man who, at age 13, doused an 8-year-old with gasoline and set him on fire. Plus, winning litigators at five law firms discuss their trial strategies; in the first high court face-off over the Affordable Care Act, the justices will weigh whether the challenges can proceed at all in light of a once obscure federal statute; and publishers are test-driving litigation strategies to combat e-book piracy.
TOP VERDICTS OF 2011
VerdictSearch's compilation of the largest jury verdicts of the past year.
Plus: How did this man lose a $150 billion verdict?
Winners of the largest verdict in U.S. history hope it spurs prosecutors to file criminal charges.
Here we highlight the fun part of the legal profession -- dueling it out in the courtroom. We asked our readers to nominate trial attorneys who scored big during 2011 and who had demonstrated a track record of success. We looked for compelling stories about courtroom strategy, the courage to face long odds and victories that made a difference. These five litigators or teams all fit the bill.
KRAMER LEVIN NAFTALIS & FRANKEL
Defender indulged in a few theatrics to win
Barry Berke of Kramer Levin deployed a fancy red handkerchief and a little role-playing.
McDERMOTT WILL & EMERY
Preparation was the key — also, humanity
Victory for Yahoo! was won through the hard work of crafting arguments and getting witnesses ready.
Win may have scared off a swarm of plaintiffs' lawyers
The trick was to blame the teenaged driver's parent for an ATV rollover accident.
WILMER CUTLER PICKERING HALE AND DORR
It really helps when the client is innocent
Wilmer team made plain its contempt for the evidence, and the government caved.
MORGAN, LEWIS & BOCKIUS
Licensing dispute inspired yelling and screaming
Plaintiffs defeated first-flight plaintiffs' team in dispute over hypertension pharmaceutical.
MORE IN THE LITIGATION REPORT
The first health care argument: A question of jurisdiction
Constitutional arguments over the Health Care Reform Act may take second place to a more mundane consideration—are the courts even empowered to hear the case?
Targeting e-book pirates
Publishers are test-driving litigation strategies to combat illegal downloading of e-books. They're also suing over e-book rights based on contracts, some decades old.