Litigation Departments of the Year

Taking the Right Roads to Results

Epstein Becker Green uses risk assessment to guide litigation strategy

New Jersey Law Journal

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Epstein Becker's litigation department
Left to right, Epstein Becker's Maxine Neuhauser, David Garland, James Flynn, Denise Merna Dadika, Michael Thompson and Sheila Woolson

As one of the nation's largest labor and employment practices devoted to representing management exclusively, Epstein Becker Green counsels domestic and multinational companies across numerous industries (including health-care and life sciences, hospitality, retail and financial services) in a full range of employment matters stemming from employer-employee disputes and federal, state and local regulation.

The firm defends individual and class-action cases in judicial, administrative and arbitral forums. Recent successes include defense of wrongful discharge, breach of employment contract, misclassification of employees, misappropriation of trade secrets, violations of noncompete agreements, discrimination, retaliation and whistleblower claims.

The firm also embraced alternative dispute resolution before it became widely used, innovating new approaches to avoid or resolve litigation. The firm emphasizes sound risk assessment to avoid a mechanistic, cookie-cutter approach that's sometimes followed from commencement to resolution.

To further control costs, clients are offered fee structures, including fixed-project fees, flat monthly retainers, capped fees, tollgates, success fees, tiered structures, unit-based billing and blended rates.

The firm's strengths in litigation management include effective docket management through technology; cost control through leveraging of staff and grouping of cases for disposition; an overall understanding of multidistrict litigation; seasoned attorneys able to litigate anywhere given the firm's national presence; knowledge of a broad range of liability issues, legal theories and expert witness; familiarity with the members of the plaintiffs' bar; and continued efforts to improve and refine case management and cost control.

Firm technology exceeds industry standards. Core desktop technologies include Outlook/Exchange email integrated with a comprehensive document management system, Microsoft Office productivity suite, wireless access via various smart phone platforms, and extensive remote access capabilities.

The firm is equipped to review and produce email and both electronic and scanned documents through Relativity, the firm's primary litigation support software. The program enables quick, accurate search and review evidentiary information. The firm also uses LiveNote to review text, and audio and video transcripts. Together the programs provide a robust platform for attorneys to work with complex collections of information.

For docketing and calendaring, the firm uses Compulaw, which references court rules to calculate deadlines.

The firm also maintains a secure website (extranet) — which supports collaboration with clients when working on matters and incorporates calendaring and contact management functions — and has extensive data security systems, business continuity and disaster recovery plans in place.

Epstein Becker Green by the Numbers
  Firm-wide N.J. Office
Department Size 111 20
Department as percentage of firm (head-count) 44% 74%
Department as percentage of firm (revenue) 45% 72%

 

Major Litigators:

• James Flynn (partner, Newark, admitted 1990) — firm general counsel; managing partner of the Newark office; has handled trial and appellate work in the area of intellectual property, complex commercial matters and employment law; has represented clients in health-care, pharmaceuticals, and financial services industries.

• Carmine Iannaccone (partner, Newark, 1977) — vice chairman of the firm's board of directors; has conducted numerous jury trials in discrimination, wrongful termination and other matters; structures employment agreement provisions governing protection of trade secrets and proprietary technology.

• Patrick Brady (partner, Newark, 1981) — has worked extensively on complex wage and hour and other employment litigation and ERISA, WARN Act and Family Leave Act matters; litigated numerous cases to successful jury verdicts; represented employers in class-action, wrongful-discharge, harassment, labor-relations, collective-bargaining, trade-secret and other suits.

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