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Whether it’s good strategically to retain plaintiff’s firms when you sue other companies

In the ACC Docket, Vol. 26, Nov. 2008 at 34, the author states his conviction that his company’s retention of plaintiffs’ firms to bring lawsuits against other companies has been groundbreaking. Put modestly, it “can also be seen as a signal moment in a major legal profession trend, in which more corporations are now breaking down the barriers between the defense and plaintiffs bars when it serves their interests to do so.”

True, law firms that have honed their skills suing big companies may be psychologically and culturally primed to sue on your behalf. Yet, won’t many of them have conflicts of interest? Even if the conflicts are not strictly legal, what about issue conflicts? Or what if they get to know your strategic posture and style of litigation? You may be educating the enemy. What if they change sides later. If you play with fire you will get burned (See my post on litigation funding (See my post of Sept. 29, 2006: several hedge funds lending to law firms; Jan. 6, 2009: funding for plaintiff’s firms; Aug. 24, 2005: billions in funding for plaintiffs’ bar.).