Do you joint venture cases with others?

Yes, we frequently work with other attorneys and firms in joint ventures.  We believe that the combined talents and experiences of different firms often lead to beneficial results for the attorneys and client. And our firm attempts to capture that synergy whenever possible.

The most common situations in which we work with other firms are: (1) when the other firm has prepared a case and faces an upcoming trial setting, (2) intellectual property disputes in which the patent lawyer needs litigation assistance from us, and (3) class action cases where the two firms jointly serve as class counsel. The fee division arrangement in a joint venture may vary case-to-case. But in instances where the client is represented through a contingent-fee arrangement, the firms typically agree to a division of the contingency percentage based on their anticipated contribution to the case.

An example of one of our joint ventures is Kinetic Concepts Inc. (KCI) v. Bluesky Inc. in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. There, Randy McClanahan and Bob Espey worked with Bluesky’s existing counsel to defend it against patent infringement, breach of contract, and miscellaneous state tort claims. After a seven-week jury trial, and six days of jury deliberation, we obtained a defense verdict on all claims against Bluesky. The jury verdict caused KCI’s stock price to drop and it lost half of its market cap overnight. A final judgment was entered in Bluesky’s favor in 2007 and the case is now on appeal.

Another example of our joint ventures is Lewis v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma. There, we joined with an Oklahoma firm to represent its clients in a class action suit against Wal-Mart. The case settled for $5.097 million, an amount that was 100% of the class’ damages. The court named both firms as class counsel and awarded $1.6 for attorneys’ fees and expenses (which was divided between the firms under the joint venture agreement).

If you have a client or case idea and would like to discuss a joint venture arrangement please contact one of our partners.