In just the second year that the Law Journal has been rating law firm litigation departments based on their recipes for success, participation among firms was noticeably more enthusiastic, and consequently, competition was keener. It was no easy task deciding on winners and finalists among a field of such strong contenders.

As before, the competition was open to any litigation firm with a New Jersey presence. We distributed questionnaires by email and on our website, asking firms to provide us with detailed information about their litigation victories in 2013 and the lawyers who attained them and about how their litigation departments are run.

The contest has two distinct categories: (1) general litigation and (2) specialty practice areas, namely, commercial litigation, labor and employment, insurance, intellectual property and real estate. We chose a winner in each category and, where appropriate, selected finalists who also made strong showings.

While we sought to give recognition to litigation departments in our area, we took into account cases led by New Jersey attorneys in out-of-state courts, in recognition that many lawyers and firms have regional or national practices.

We found that firms’ philosophies converge on desirable goals for their litigation departments, in terms of effective management, cost limitation and client service, but their approaches differ. I hope that these profiles will offer guidance to other firms on what seems to work best.

— Ronald J. Fleury
Editor in Chief


General Litigation: Gibbons

General Litigation (Finalist): Reed Smith

Commercial Litigation: Lowenstein Sandler

Commercial Litigation (Finalist): Sills Cummis & Gross

Insurance: Methfessel & Werbel

Insurance (Finalist): McCarter & English

Intellectual Property: Connell Foley

Labor & Employment: Genova Burns Giantomasi & Webster

Labor & Employment (Finalist): Morgan Lewis & Bockius

Product Liability: McCarter & English

Real Estate Litigation: Day Pitney


Seven Habits of Highly Effective Litigators
How to get the best result for your client, at the lowest cost
By Peter W. Benner

Five Lessons From Inside the Jury Pool
A large-firm litigator shares insights gained from his experience as a potential juror
By Gavin R. Villareal

How To Market a Commercial Litigation Practice: Experts Opine
By Stacy West Clark