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Howrey is first and foremost a litigation firm. Our 600 trial lawyers and advocates across the United States, Europe, and Asia are, quite literally, in trial every day. The firm has had some 50 trials in the past 12 months and has more than 60 trials scheduled over the next year. To support them we have built an in-house litigation and trial support center in Falls Church, Va. This 75,000-square-foot facility, which serves all 14 Howrey offices in the United States, Europe, and Taipei, is our litigation nerve center, capable of offering help with everything from document management to witness preparation. The center, which opened in late 2004, allows Howrey to improve efficiency and control costs while producing successful outcomes for our clients. Our litigators, practicing in three areas — antitrust, intellectual property, and complex business litigation — focus on large “bet-the-company” litigation. These cases often involve huge numbers of documents, requiring the flexibility and space to bring in hundreds of temporary employees, who might be on board for a month or longer. Our antitrust practice routinely handles large “second requests” for documents in merger cases, often managing multiple second requests simultaneously. To meet this firmwide need, we created a state-of-the-art facility where we could manage massive document requests, offer comprehensive imaging services, and provide support for electronic data discovery and databases cost-effectively. In outfitting the center, we were able to incorporate the most modern technologies and structures to create a center that is efficient and comfortable. MOOT COURT AND MORE The center allows us to better coordinate services and dedicate resources to trial support. Among its technological amenities, the center has wireless connectivity throughout, on-site IT support, a complete training facility, a moot-court room, and video teleconferencing (VTC) capabilities. There are restaurant and catering facilities in the building, convenient for client meetings, and good hotels nearby. The facility is light and airy, which is important to the many lawyers who routinely work long days preparing for trial. An essential part of the center is the 12-person discovery-management team. The team can set up and staff massive document-collection systems as well as processing and review teams. The team can also set up new teams if necessary to meet deadlines and can call up hundreds of temporary attorneys within 48 hours of a request. The firm values its strong relationships with temp-attorney agencies and equipment vendors. These relationships ensure high-quality participation and output as well as rapid turnaround. Rapidly assembled review teams require fully operational computer work stations the moment they arrive and close supervision by staff attorneys and project managers to ensure high productivity. The center can manage paper documents if a client requests this, or convert to electronic documents for searching capabilities. The documents can also be converted back into paper if hard-copy review is required. High-capacity servers on-site can store and retrieve millions of documents, enabling the center to handle multiple clients and many cases at the same time. Since most of the data is electronic, the center’s nine in-house e-discovery project managers use secure, Web-based discovery and transcript database-management software, which can be used anywhere there is an Internet connection. Portals to access material can be part of the extranet system for the case, giving users — including Howrey partners in various offices, clients, local counsel, and others — access to documents and other resources from any Internet connection. They can post, view, and collaborate on documents, including managing multiple versions of documents; receive due-date notifications related to documents and tasks; engage in discussions about documents and post links to Web sites; schedule tasks; and create group calendars. EIGHT AT ONCE Our relationships with e-discovery vendors have resulted in pricing arrangements well below the industry average, an advantage that is passed along to clients. It’s one of the advantages to clients of using our vendors. As a frequent user of services, we are able to negotiate prices and accommodations that individual or one-time users cannot achieve. Since discovery is one of the most expensive and time-consuming phases of merger review, antitrust litigation, and criminal and civil antitrust investigation, the center’s document-discovery system can manage clients’ discovery projects efficiently and cost-effectively. The center can handle at least eight cases simultaneously at this facility, and it did so last summer. Space is provided for the briefings, which are usually done by the partner in charge, whether in person or by VTC. The briefings are then taped and played as we continue to add people to a case. Litigation and docket management, a critical part of any trial preparation, is handled through litigation docketing and calendar software, which automatically schedules critical dates in accordance with court rules for more than 1,000 jurisdictions. Throughout the trial preparations, Howrey’s affiliate, CapAnalysis, provides strategic litigation advice. Experienced trial and jury consultants evaluate cases early on to assess the risks and rewards of litigation; conduct research, including mock jury trials, arbitrations, and bench trials to help with voir dire and jury selection; prepare witnesses; prepare exhibits; draft direct- and cross-examination questions; and construct opening and closing statements. Recently, CapAnalysis economists and consultants played a critical role in the successful acquisition of Maytag Corp. by Howrey client Whirlpool. As the trial nears, the moot-court facility becomes a center of activity. This mock courtroom can be configured to simulate federal and state trials, arbitrations, and mediations. Technology such as high-resolution rear-projection monitors with touch-screen technology, multiple low-profile flat-screen LCD monitors, audio and video conferencing, numerous data and power connections, recording capabilities, and wireless as well as hard-wired touch-screen remote controls allow for comfortable and effective trial preparation. CapAnalysis jury consultants help trial teams research how judges and potential jurors understand and evaluate the arguments and evidence in a controversy before the case ever goes to trial. Attorneys use this information to inform discovery, plan case strategy, evaluate themes, and prepare for jury selection. In order to present the most cogent argument to the judge and jury, Howrey’s in-house graphics and multimedia services create effective visual presentations, often explaining complex processes through animations. As part of Howrey’s litigation support services, professionally supervised trial sites — war rooms and administrative offices — can be set up in a matter of days in any venue throughout the United States and Europe. These sites typically include full IT and networking capabilities, multimedia services, and administrative support for Howrey attorneys and clients. During the trial the litigation support center provides in-house trial technologists whose technical flexibility allows for immediate changes in response to trial developments. They are skilled in integration and organization of scanned images, demonstrative exhibits, video, photographs, and animations, and are experts in trial preparation and presentation software. As clients seek increased efficiencies and successful outcomes while controlling costs, Howrey’s litigation support center is committed to meeting this need. We’ve made the investment in a litigation and technology facility and in litigation resources. We consider it an investment in our clients.
Robert F. Ruyak is chairman and CEO of Howrey and is based in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office.

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