Civil litigators getting used to life in the doldrums
Anyone who hoped that commercial litigation might help law firms weather the recession was surely disappointed last year, according to Nat­ional Law Journal affiliate VerdictSearch’s report on the Top 100 Verdicts of 2009. Commercial verdicts, including breach-of-contract recoveries, fell from $1.4 billion in 2008 to $421 million last year. Fraud recoveries plummeted by nearly 70% to $561.3 million. Intellectual property litigation saw an increase — from $2.2 billion to $2.6 billion. But that picture was distorted by a single massive recovery: Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc.’s $1.67 billion verdict against Abbott Laboratories.

Credibility was at issue in 2009′s largest verdict
Plaintiff lawyers’ attack on Abbott’s credibility and case theory may have helped Centocor score a $1.67 billion verdict — the largest verdict of last year.