Benchmark Litigation's Top 100 Trial Lawyers list for the 2021 research cycle has officially been announced.
Throughout the annals of history, the trial lawyer has cut a figure that stretches across all strata of modern society. From Perry Mason to To Kill a Mockingbird to A Few Good Men to all of John Grisham’s novels, pop culture has long mythologized the iconic image of the trial lawyer. Indeed, for those unfamiliar with the broad and nebulous spectrum of law practices, a trial lawyer may be the only type of lawyer they are even aware of at all. Benchmark Litigation has, since 2007, celebrated these trial lawyers in the pages of its directory as well as events associated with it. To that end, Benchmark has assembled a list identifying the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America.
To call 2020 a challenging year for trial law would be more than an understatement. Needless to say, the adverse effects of COVID-19 that affected the rest of the legal world (and the world in general) so quickly were particularly devastating to this area of law, with some leaders in the field speculating that some irreversible changes to trial procedure are in store. Jury trials were, with very few exceptions, scotched as of May at the latest, and months earlier in some jurisdictions. Trial lawyers have quickly had to adapt to grappling with trials held by ZOOM, and all of the learning curves and technical hurdles that come with them.
Trials were already growing increasingly rare even prior to the pandemic, with the pool of lawyers equipped to attend to this work steadily shrinking. The opportunities for lawyers to gain experience and become seasoned by actual courtroom work have been decimated by the rise of alternative dispute resolution and out-of-court settlements, often favored by risk-averse clients. As a result, the divide between “litigators” and “trial lawyers” has widened considerably, with the latter group commanding ever-increasing levels of reverence as masters of a seemingly endangered craft.
Compiling this list of a mere 100 of these elite individuals across the entire country is always a painstaking process and was considerably so this year. That said, we believe we have arrived at what we believe to be an informed conclusion, as discovered throughout the course of the past several years of research. Competition was very stiff in certain cases, with some very difficult decisions having to be made. The list is accompanied by an editorial piece extrapolating on most of the lawyers listed, colored by candid quotes and peer and client review to offer context and provide support for the decisions. (Unfortunately we were not able to editorialize every trial lawyer, due to either lack of details on recent matters and/or lack of quote-worthy feedback.)
The full list of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers, as well as the accompanying editorial, can be found here.
Congratulations to all nominees on your well-earned honor!
A special thank you to the below partners and firms for generously supporting the 2021 Benchmark Litigation publication!
For further information, please contact:
Michael Rafalowich - Managing Editor
Rebecca Synnott - Head of Business Development