Tuesday, July 12, 2005

More corporations hiring Plaintiffs' attorneys to do battle

An excerpt from law.com's article published this morning:

Plaintiffs attorneys say big businesses are hiring them with increasing frequency to help fight their legal battles. For example, in Florida, personal injury lawyer Jack Scarola was the lead counsel in billionaire Ronald O. Perelman's recent $1.4 billion win in a securities fraud suit against investment bank Morgan Stanley.

In Illinois, asbestos litigator Jeff Cooper's Chicago firm CooperSimmons, which has seen an "explosion of interest from corporations," recently formed a business-to-business, contingency fee-based litigation practice in partnership with New York's Hanly Conroy Bierstein & Sheridan.

In the past, attorneys note, most business-to-business lawsuits were handled by traditional, full-service law firms that charge by the hour, as well as large defense-oriented firms with strong ties to the business community. Hiring a plaintiffs lawyer, such as a wrongful death or personal injury attorney, was considered taboo.

But that stigma has subsided, they assert, mainly because of two factors: rising legal fees, which have prompted companies to look for less expensive legal options; and tort reform, which has forced plaintiffs attorneys to get more creative with their services.

A good read, and you can find the rest right here.