Categories & Criteria

Potential nominees should have scored at least one significant plaintiffs win between Jan. 1, 2018, and April 1, 2019, and possess an impressive track record of wins within the past three to five years. A “significant win” means prevailing in a bench or jury trial or in a major settlement in which the stakes are high—for example, a substantial amount of money is on the line or the outcome could affect litigation strategy or the results in similar cases nationally.

To be eligible for this list, firms should devote at least 50 percent of their litigation resources to plaintiffs work.

Among the criteria that we may use to evaluate firms and/or lawyers:
 
  • Performance in significant cases, including key rulings, victories at trial, and settlements
  • Verdict dollar amount, size of punitive damages penalties, cash settlements
  • Complexity of procedure and substantive law
  • Duration of case, and/or number of class members
  • Willingness to take on large cases and to persevere in the face of adversity
  • Volume of cases handled in a particular time period (sum of accumulated verdicts or settlements)
  • The novelty of claim, cause of action, or theory of recovery
  • Impact – litigation results that changed a government, business practice (for instance, the way that credit card fees are handled; or the pricing structure in a particular industry)
  • Feedback or acknowledgment from the bench
  • Firm size in relation to impact or recovery amount
  • Each result must reflect achievements by lawyers practicing at your firm; do not submit wins by lateral hires while at their old firms.
  • Please do not submit appellate victories. They do not count for this survey.
  • Unless otherwise marked, all information submitted will be considered on-the-record.

Elite Trial Lawyers Categories 2019

Antitrust
Bankruptcy Law
Business Torts
Civil Rights
Construction Law
Consumer Protection
Counter-terrorism
Disability Rights
Discrimination
Elite Women of the Plaintiffs’ Bar
Employment Rights
Environmental Protection
Financial Products
Gaming Law
Immigration
Insurance Liability
Legal Malpractice
Mass Torts
Medical Device
Medical Malpractice
Pharmaceutical Litigation
Privacy/Data Breach
Product Liability
Racial Discrimination
Securities Litigation
Sports, Entertainment & Media Law
Other

We would like you to submit:
 
A list of cases with brief descriptions of their significance
 
  • Describe litigation results that demonstrate excellence. The list can and should include results obtained pre-trial or at trial. It may include pro bono cases.
  • Provide results that occurred between Jan. 1 2018 and April 1, 2019, and briefly describe each case.
  • Please rank the cases in order of importance. By importance we mean both significance of the result for your client and contribution made by your lawyers.
  • Please include the names of clients (if the case is a class action, a lead plaintiff will suffice), lead partners, and opposing counsel, as well as contact information.
  • Include specific dollar amounts where relevant.
  • If your clients were represented by more than one firm, please specify your firm’s role.
  • In your submission, please name someone at your firm whom we may contact with questions.

Include three client references, including phone numbers or e-mail addresses.

Provide data about the size of the firm as of April 1, 2019 (including the number of partners, associates and other).

An essay of up to 1,000 words (shorter is perfectly acceptable) explaining why a firm should win, along with supporting documents. Factors we’re looking for are importance and difficulty of the matters handled; the quality of opposing counsel, ingenuity and diligence. This is no place for false modesty! Please describe the firm’s track record, and describe your biggest loss during the specified period; we would like to know how the firm adjusts to setbacks and what it learned from the experience.

*Some critical notes to consider:
 
  • Confidential information:  Important note: All information submitted will be: considered on the record and included in our selection process. Please, do not submit confidential information, including client names or client matters.
  • How does ETL differ from Winning Litigators: Unlike National Law Journal’s Winning Litigators, Elite Trial Lawyers exclusively spotlights plaintiffs lawyers.
 
In addition to these categories, ETL judges will select the Keith Givens Visionary Award and the Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award.
 
The Keith Givens Visionary Award honors a member of the bar who has shown extraordinary creativity in bringing the legal industry together, developing new opportunities for business growth, and supporting the professional development of attorneys across the country.
 
The Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award will recognize an individual plaintiff attorney who exhibited superb results on behalf of his or her client.

If you have any questions, please e-mail Pearl Wu, Recognition Desk Manager, at pwu@alm.com.

The deadline for submissions is April 26, 2019.