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
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
E-Discovery in the Class-Action Context: Making the Case for Cost-Shifting
Some courts shift to class-action plaintiffs and their counsel some of the e-discovery cost burdens that ordinarily fall only on the defense. But what does it take to arrive at such a ruling?
By Damian Santomauro and Melissa DeHonney