In any lawsuit brought by a former employee against a law firm or other personal services entity, says Joan A. Lukey, the defense attorney has to remove immediately any David-and-Goliath trappings from the case: “You have to talk about the people who built the business. You have to let the jurors know…they’re hurting real people.”

In her recent defense of a partnership claim brought against Boston’s Lubin & Meyer P.C., Ms. Lukey of Boston’s Hale and Dorr L.L.P., made a point of personalizing the people at the law firm in her opening statement: “I introduced the equity partners and talked about what Drew Meyer and Don Lubin had done to build the firm.”

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