Our first runner-up this week is a team at Baker Botts that won what appears to be the longest-running hybrid civil trial of the COVID-19 era for off-shore drilling equipment maker Dril-Quip Inc. Rival FMC Technologies Inc. alleged that a former employee conspired with Dril-Quip to steal trade secrets to develop its VXTe subsea tree system. FMC was asking for $35 million in actual damages, $70 million in exemplary damages and injunctive relief. After jury selection conducted in a 10,000-seat arena and three weeks of in-person testimony in a ceremonial courtroom with some witnesses appearing via Zoom, a Houston jury found last week the FMC didn’t own the trade secrets at issue in the case. Dril-Quip’s trial team was led by Baker Botts partners Danny David, Paul Morico and Liz Flannery.
Bryan Aylstock of Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz, also gets a runner-up nod this week for landing a $7.1 million verdict as lead counsel in the first bellwether trial for three plaintiffs in the 3M earplug multidistrict litigation. After a day of deliberations, a Pensacola, Florida jury found last week that 3M was 100% at fault and granted none of the company’s affirmative defenses. The second bellwether trial is set to begin on May 17.