Two keys that earlier this year led to a $9-billion courtroom victory by Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C., against the maker of the diabetes drug Actos, were revealed Monday when National Law Journal named the New York City-based personal injury firm to its debut list of “America’s Elite Trial Lawyers.”
Key Number One — a massive investment of time devoted to pre-trial preparation in order to anticipate and thwart attempts by the defendant’s legal team to spring surprises on the Weitz & Luxenberg lawyers.
Key Number Two — at all times being truthful and honest with the jury.
National Law Journal divulged these success keys in a Sept. 29 article introducing its inaugural list of the nation’s Top 50 plaintiffs’ law firms.
The list of “America’s Elite Trial Lawyers” was compiled by the journal in cooperation with the legal-focused news website Law.com.
Merely to be considered for this list, a law firm needed to show at least one recent big verdict or settlement arising from a high-stakes case.
In addition, list hopefuls needed a legacy of impressive victories over the span of the last five years.
Comments obtained by National Law Journal from Weitz & Luxenberg client Terrence Allen, plaintiff in the Actos case, are illustrative.
“Day after day [the Weitz & Luxenberg lawyers] were there, always prepared, always ready,” Allen was quoted by the journal as saying.
“Not once were the lawyers on the defense able to do something that caught [my lawyers] by surprise. I often wonder how many exhausting hours of preparation [were] done to be that good.”
Delving deeper into the law firm’s success secrets, the publication learned that Weitz & Luxenberg fills its attorney ranks with former government prosecutors and other lawyers who know what it takes to bring wrongdoers to justice.
“[Attorneys we recruit] have a lot of trial experience when they come to us,” co-founding member Perry Weitz told National Law Journal.
The periodical noted that Weitz & Luxenberg employs dozens of such heavy-hitters.
Among those it mentioned by name were Paul Pennock, who manages Weitz & Luxenberg’s Drug & Medical Device Litigation group, and associate attorney Jonathan Sedgh.
Pennock is a lead lawyer in the firm. He, Mark Lanier and Richard Arsenault served as lead lawyers in the case against Actos.
National Law Journal also observed that Weitz & Luxenberg exerts a national presence, thanks to offices in Manhattan, Los Angeles and just outside Philadelphia in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
National Law Journal and Law.com decided to create the “America’s Elite Trial Lawyers” roster in order to identify and lionize the 50 plaintiffs’ law firms responsible for the combined total of $10 billion in recoveries won at trial during 2013 alone.
The two organizations contend that the work of firms like Weitz & Luxenberg will likely yield 2014 recoveries surpassing those of the previous year.