Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
The National Law Journal‘s Hot List is a list of plaintiffs’ litigation firms that we feel have done exemplary work during the past year. Though we paid careful attention to recent successes, all the firms chosen have track records that go back years, sometimes decades. But our selections were not based on vaunted reputations, impressive client lists or cases filed. We looked for results. Each of the 20 firms selected is described in a thumbnail sketch, which includes recent cases. This presented a challenge for some firms, especially those that handle large commercial cases, since so many settle confidentially. Consequently, the cases listed do not always represent the firm’s most impressive achievements. To be eligible for selection, at least half of a firm’s work had to be for plaintiffs and at least half had to be litigation. Most of the firms fit comfortably within those bounds. Two Houston firms, Susman Godfrey and Gibbs & Bruns, reported a greater percentage of defense work than the others, but still tilt toward plaintiffs. We eliminated solo practitioners and very small firms, regardless of their success, simply because our purpose was to recognize the work of law firms, not individual lawyers. Though some firms also appeared on our first list last year, we tried to begin with a blank slate and judge each nominee de novo. We do not wish to imply, however, that this process was scientific. We did not adopt objective standards against which to measure firms. The selections were subjective, and there are undoubtedly firms as worthy as those we picked. The choice of 20 was also an arbitrary limitation that forced the elimination of firms that otherwise were deserving. The firms included are a varied group, the largest of which is 135 lawyers. There are class action securities firms, toxic tort specialists, a firm that mostly does automobile cases and one that specializes in representing whistleblowers. They are scattered around the country, though fully a quarter are based in Texas. A word about what we are not claiming for the selected firms. We do not say they are the most successful or best. We don’t know how we would begin to judge which firms are best. Joe Jamail, who has been dubbed “The King of Torts,” recently discussed this topic in his Houston office. The crown was first given to him “tongue in cheek” by Melvin Belli, he said, who had tired of wearing it himself. Then, as a joke, local judges presented him with a literal crown now encased in glass on the conference table in his “war room.” The whole notion strikes him as absurd: “That title to me is tantamount to being elected the fattest horse in the glue factory.” Cleo Cacoulidis wrote the thumbnail sketches of the firms and conducted the research, assisted by Lindsay Fortado.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.