This is the Law Journal‘s first venture into rating law firm litigation departments for excellence, and we approached it with no small degree of trepidation. The field was wide open, there were no milestones from which to measure and the metrics for judging had to be developed from scratch.

Nevertheless, we are gratified that the contest generated a robust response. Once we invited nominations and submissions in January, expressions of interest came pouring in, and there were enough qualified nominees to make the decision-making interesting.

The competition was open to any law firm with a New Jersey presence. In a long, elaborate questionnaire, we asked firms to provide us with information about how their litigation departments are run and to provide a sampling of successful litigation results in 2012 and to identify the lawyers who attained them.

While we sought to give recognition to strong litigation departments in our area, we took into account cases led by New Jersey attorneys in out-of-state courts, in recognition that many lawyers and law firms have regional or national practices.

The contest has two distinct categories: (1) general litigation and (2) specialty practice areas, namely, products liability/mass torts; labor and employment; insurance; commercial litigation and personal injury. We chose a winner in each category and, where appropriate, selected finalists who made strong showings.

The profiles that follow were researched and prepared by staff reporter David Gialanella and myself. We hope to have conveyed what, in our opinion, made these firms worth the distinctions awarded them.

— Ronald J. Fleury
Editor in Chief

The Winners

General Litigation: Greenberg Traurig

General Litigation (1st Finalist): Blank Rome

General Litigation (2nd Finalist): Genova Burns Giantomasi Webster

Commercial Litigation: Gibbons

Commercial Litigation (Finalist): Herrick Feinstein

Insurance: Coughlin Duffy

Insurance (Finalist): Pashman Stein

Labor & Employment: Morgan Lewis

Labor & Employment (Finalist): Epstein Becker

Product Liability/Mass Torts: Patton Boggs

Personal Injury: Mazie Slater Katz & Freedman

Personal Injury (Finalist): Javerbaum Wurgaft Hicks Kahn Wikstrom & Sinins

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