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The benefits of national coordinating counsel

Many law departments that are bedeviled by a swarm of lawsuits hire a single law firm to coordinate the defense. If cases are pending throughout the country, then the so-called national coordinating counsel will handle cases in jurisdictions where the firm has capable litigators who are admitted, and will turn to local counsel for the remaining cases. A coordinating firm rides herd on the other firms, unlike a virtual team of firms or a multi-source group of firms (See my post of July 16, 2005 on this term.).

Principally, national coordinating counsel strive to maintain a consistent approach by the company to discovery requests and strategy. They prepare standard forms of documents and pleadings, they serve as a research clearing house, and they respond to skirmishes across the entire battlefront.

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One response to “The benefits of national coordinating counsel”

  1. Patrick Lamb says:

    A good National Coordinating Counsel also looks to distinguish between issues that are common to cases (say, the company’s story) and those that are not (say, the plaintiff’s injury). Those issues that are common are effectively handled at the NCC level and those that are not are best left to capable local lawyers. This approach brings efficiency to the defense so that all local counsel are not having to master all issues. NCC also is responsible for overall quality control, ensuring that the local lawyers perform at standards expected by the client. Finally, NCC brings a global perspective to valuing cases and resolving them, probably the most significant component of the job.
    I also want to add that virtually all of these the attributes work in the context of a single lawyer or firm being responsible for all or large pieces of a company’s litigation portfolio.