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A working definition of “major litigation” (Altria)

The Jabba the Hut lawsuits, the ugly few that swallow the most dollars, should be called “major litigation.” They justify more management (See my post of April 18, 2005 on project managers.), budgets (See my post of March 24, 2005 on law firm budgets.), more care in the selection of outside counsel, more attention paid to discovery costs, and other extra efforts.

The head of litigation for Altria suggests criteria for classifying law suits as major (Counsel to Counsel, Nov. 2005 at 23). Does it have the potential to increase:

Publicity, often negative
Shareholder and institutional investor inquiries
Regulatory and legislative investigations
Copycat litigation?

These seem like sensible criteria, with the addition of a threshold for large amounts of money at risk.

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