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In choosing the best defense wins of 2004, The National Law Journal considered the obstacles that defense attorneys encountered, such as plaintiff-friendly venues, the amount of damages at stake and if similar cases to be tried would be affected. This was the first year that the NLJ considered bench verdicts. Nearly 100 submissions from across the country were received by the NLJ, and dozens of defense counsel were interviewed and solicited for defense wins that merited consideration. The list was painstakingly whittled to the 10 cases presented in this section. June D. Bell wrote the stories, except for New York v. Belnick, which was written by Emily Heller.

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