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Nothing was ordinary about the first civil trial stemming from Pfizer Inc.‘s controversial epilepsy treatment, Neurontin. Both sides loudly complained about witness intimidation. Colorful plaintiffs lawyer Mark Lanier opened to the jury one day, then settled the next after an anonymous donor deposited $50,000 into an account for the alleged victim’s daughter. And at the defense table, high-powered product liability specialists from three separate firms worked as though they were partners — and all on a flat fee basis. “It was,” says Pfizer general counsel Amy Schulman, “an extraordinary victory.”

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