August 16, 2004

2004 U.S. Corporate Counsel Litigation Trends Survey Report

Here's something that should interest both outside and corporate counsel alike: Earlier this year, Fulbright & Jaworski commissioned a survey of corporate general counsel regarding corporate litigation issues and trends. They've recently published the results as a free 20-page report in PDF format. Rather than reiterate the contents here, the ABA Journal eReport has a good write-up on it worth reading.

According to the report, it is "one of the largest surveys of corporate litigation issues ever conducted." It had 300 respondents, and identifies such things as the top five litigation areas of concern, a breakdown of litigation concerns by industry, methods of controlling costs and compensating outside counsel, and more. It also identifies trends and breaks down results by company size class and geographic region. Arbitration and mediation are also covered.

All in all, it's an interesting read, and you may be surprised to learn that the top litigation of concern to most GC's is labor and employment. I particularly found page 7 to be interesting: It charts the percentages of companies using various cost-reduction methods, and the percentage of each method rated as effective by its users. It does likewise with use of computer-based litigation tools. Regarding cost reduction methods, I found it quite interesting that some of the least-used methods (rated by percent used) were conversely rated as highly effective (around 80%), such as success-based bonuses, task-based billing, and electronic billing.

To answer Ron Friedmann's and Dennis Kennedy's recent question regarding e-billing, perhaps there are a few "bold GCs willing to talk about the elephant and take it head-on".

[Updated 8.19.04: Lisa Henson, Fulbright's Web Content Manager, contacted me today to thank me for posting this, and suggested a friendlier URL to their registration page, which I've incorporated above. In addition to their original link, I had initially posted a more direct download link because some of Fulbright's web pages would not load properly in my browser (due to some of their active web content), and felt others would have a similiar problem.

However, purely in the spirit of professional courtesy, something that is often lacking nowadays, upon Ms. Henson's request I've removed the direct download link. I believe I'm not legally required to do so and am removing it without relinquishing or releasing any legal rights. Nor did Ms. Henson make any such inference, I might add. We had a very friendly conversation about this and she asked me most politely. As I've also experienced firsthand, developing web sites that load equally well in all browsers is a challenging task. Thus if you should encounter any problem obtaining the report via their registration page, then I heartily suggest contacting Ms. Henson directly at (713) 651-8372. I'm sure she'll be happy to assist you.]

Topic(s):   Law Practice Management
Posted by Jeff Beard

Jeff, you have been a complete gentleman. Thank you so much for your courtesy and your professionalism.

And, yes, I encourage any visitors to our web site to contact me should they have any issues downloading our site. Communication is king! Regards, Lisa Henson

Posted by: Lisa at August 19, 2004 02:54 PM