More and more Denver businesses are recognizing the opportunities for hiring a plaintiff’s injury lawyer on a contingency fee basis for their business litigation needs. These high risk/high reward cases are being handled by injury lawyers because Colorado businesses understand that their recoveries will be maximized by seasoned litigators.
Business litigation in Colorado follows a national trend. The following
are examples of decisions by corporate counsel to hire injury lawyers
for high risk/high reward litigation:
A personal injury lawyer in Florida was used in a securities fraud suit
against an investment bank. The injury lawyer obtained a $1.4 billion
A New York personal injury lawyer is representing an insurance company
in litigation arising out of the September 11, 2001 destruction of the
World Trade Center. Suit is against an airline and airport security to
recoup costs paid out for losses covered by insurance.
A plaintiff’s injury lawyer in Illinois has formed a business-to-business
relationship with a commercial litigation firm. The relationship will
represent businesses on a contingency fee basis.
One of the early stories of this trend was reported in an excellent article
published in the
National Law Journal, July 12, 2005. The reporter cited a number of examples of businesses
who make the switch from commercial litigators to injury lawyers.
Traditionally, most business-to-business lawsuits were handled by full
service law firms charging by the hour. Hiring an injury lawyer was considered
taboo. The injury lawyer just didn’t have the accounting, tax, patent
or commercial background needed. This is a myopic decision by businesses
who think that a trial is nothing but discussion of technology. These
businesses have overlooked the fact that jurors themselves have no background
at all in the technology. However, the jurors and the injury lawyer all
understand the importance of a good story.
Rising legal fees have caused businesses to examine their litigation strategies.
They are now looking to lawyers to share some of the risks.
Businesses also know that a courtroom savvy plaintiff’s injury lawyer
knows how to try cases. The plaintiff’s injury courtroom lawyer
is experienced in simplifying complicated issues. For example, the courtroom
injury lawyer may never have been to medical school or mechanical engineering
school, but certainly knows how to tell a medical malpractice story or
auto defect story.
One prominent injury lawyer is of the opinion that businesses are chasing
injury lawyers to handle their litigation and that tort reform has nothing
to do with those decisions. That attorney repeats what corporate counsel
in Colorado and nationally are saying, “All of a sudden, the negative
connotations that have been directed to contingent fee lawyers over the
last decade seem to have been overcome.”
A New York aviation and personal injury lawyer says, “Contingency
fees are very attractive for companies that are trying to control their
litigation costs. A contingent fee lawyer only gets money if he wins.”
At least one defense attorney feels that plaintiff injury attorneys are
winning businesses over because of the lucrative verdicts they get, which
are often impressive.
Some businesses form relationships with injury lawyers for a specific
case based upon a mix of contingency fee and hourly fee. Additional arrangements
require the business to cover the costs of litigation. However, a Colorado
business seeking an attorney to share the risk never chooses to pay the
attorney a straight hourly fee. There is at least a mix of hourly and
Corporate counsel knows that the plaintiff’s injury lawyer has a
certain mindset – one that optimizes time and money, as opposed
to the reactive posture a traditional commercial litigation firm takes.
I have devoted my career to winning high risk and complex litigation.
I would be pleased to talk to you about how I may be able to assist your
business with its litigation needs. Please contact me to setup a free