The Lawyers’ Lawyers

July 29, 2014 – In The News
The Legal Intelligencer

Fox Rothschild was featured in The Legal Intelligencer article, “The Lawyers’ Lawyers,” as part of the publication’s Litigation Department of the Year supplement. Full text can be found in the July 29, 2014, issue, but a synopsis is below.

The professional liability department of Fox Rothschild seeks to ensure a client’s needs are met with sensitivity and tenacious representation.

What makes the group stand out, according Department Head Abraham Reich, is its "responsiveness, attention to detail, appreciation for the fact that professionals occupy a very special place in our community and understanding the need to treat professionals in a way that, despite allegations against them, their reputations are not going to be tarnished."

Professional liability often differs from other litigation practices, especially in the sensitivity to public exposure of cases.

"Sometimes the best victory is one that never sees the light of day," Reich said. "That is one of the marked differences between a traditional law practice in a trial setting versus representing professionals in a trial setting."

"While we're not concerned about trying a case if we have to, it is often a bad proposition to approach a problem with professionals thinking you're going to win it in the courtroom where someone's reputation is going to be played out in the public eye," he added.

According to Stephanie Resnick, a partner at Fox, clients come to the firm for professional liability representation because of the attorneys’ ability to quickly understand the facts of the case and tone of the litigation, while also working to avoid a lengthy legal battle.

Many matters "are resolved through pretrial proceedings, summary judgment, motions for judgment on the pleadings," Reich said. "We have tried cases and won, but in our judgment clients are better served by an early disposition to the case in some fashion."

"We had a tremendous victory in arbitration in New York," Resnick said, "in a suit initiated by a former partner of a law firm. It was a complete victory. Arbitrations are something that happens quite often. We are very pleased with our level of success in these matters."

The department works well with the other departments in the firm, Resnick said, “We as a department are pretty seamless. We function well. Each of us who are in the professional liability group are also in other groups.”

Fox has developed a wide variety of professional liability clients of all sizes.

"The breadth of people we represent are large law firms, a number of Am Law 100, but we also represent a lot of smaller personal injury firms and high-end personal injury firms," Reich said. "So the diversity of our client base is pretty extensive."

According to Reich, the department faces challenges similar to those faced by other legal departments, only amplified.

"It's like any other department, but with an exclamation mark," he said. "You've got to be efficient. The economics of handling a matter is important. Professionals understand that but are also critical consumers."

Reich cautioned that it is important for attorneys not to take it personally when they are the target of litigation.

"The legal profession has been a target in today's economy. Lawyers are on the radar and often targeted," he said. "They need to understand that they are not necessarily targeted for the merits of the claim."