Benefits of choosing a firm to handle a trial, even if that firm didn’t handle the litigation

Sometimes General Counsel feel it is appropriate to bring in a “hired gun” to take the lead at trial. Skill at trial advocacy is all well and good but to insert a lawyer not intimately familiar with the facts, people, politics, and economics of the case is a dangerous practice. Indeed, according to an article in 8-K, Vol. 4, Fall 2008 at 28, “In most cases it is wise to have the counsel who prepared the case in its earlier litigation stages take the lead in trying the case.”

On the other hand, the litigation partner you are now using may not have significant courtroom experience and it may make sense to add another lawyer that experience to play some role in the case. The article also goes further regarding appellate counsel: “If the amount of money at stake is substantial enough, consider retaining an appellate lawyer to supplement your trial team.”

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