Lessons Learned

Litigators in America are in no danger of starvation.

Nowhere is this truer than in corporate law, where litigation is becoming more perilous all the time, and treble damages are beginning to seem almost lenient. As a result, trends in corporate litigation have direct and major effects on how general counsel spend their departments' time and budgets.

To select five particularly instructive cases from the hundreds of verdicts and appellate-court decisions handed down in 2006, InsideCounsel sought advice from the country's top litigators and regulatory lawyers. Among their suggestions were landmark opinions and obscure rulings; we chose to examine those that most clearly illustrate key trends in five major areas of corporate litigation--employment, IP, environmental regulation, corporate governance and products liability.

Despite a vastly diverse set of cases--involving everything from racist bullying to the very makeup of the nation's highest court--they all share a common thread. Namely, they illustrate the increasing complexity and cost of corporate litigation, and the vital importance of pursuing litigation strategies that are both intelligent and flexible.

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Michael T. Burr

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