When defending a corporation in civil litigation, “you can’t just sit back and defend,” says Larry R. Feldman a partner in Santa Monica, Calif.’s Fogel, Feldman, Ostrov, Ringler & Klevens. “You have to stake out your own ground.”

In a defense of Exxon Corp. in a bad-faith action this summer, he says, “I went on the attack from the get-go.” The state of California and the city of Long Beach, Calif., accused Exxon of operating in bad faith by underpricing oil pumped out of a Long Beach field and shortchanging the plaintiffs up to $350 million.

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