Florida attorney Brad Sohn was casually talking on the phone to his friend Mark Heise, a partner at Boies Schiller Flexner, when he brought up the blockbuster $180 million case he was handling: Ex-Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd—the No. 23 NFL draft pick in 2013—was suing high-profile sports surgeon Dr. James Andrews, among others, alleging that a routine procedure resulted in partially paralyzing Floyd, effectively ending his NFL career.

The two attorneys go back awhile. Five years ago, they were adversaries on a tobacco lawsuit. Sohn represented the plaintiffs, Heise the defendants.

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