Everything seemed to click just right for trial lawyer Mikal Watts this year. He won verdicts totaling more than $54 million in 2001 and recovered more than a quarter of a billion dollars. He found a new partner who shares his dream of building a “super firm” of lawyers in South Texas who aren’t afraid to go to trial. But perhaps most significantly, Watts’ courtroom work had a big impact in the Firestone/Ford tread-separation litigation, with two major settlements, and in Sulzer hip implant litigation, with the nation’s first verdict. And at presstime on Dec. 20, Watts was delivering final arguments in a key Rezulin diabetes drug suit he was hoping would lead to the first plaintiffs verdict in the nation.

Watts is only 34 and he operates out of the relatively small market of Corpus Christi, but he is nevertheless making a mark in establishing the benchmark rates for settlement in major tort litigation.

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