Law firm Crowell & Moring has parachuted in with the first-ever litigation-trends report for a year just starting. Instead of a rehash of the previous year or a tedious deconstruction of a particular piece of litigation, Crowell & Moring produced an analysis of 12 trends corporate counsel should anticipate in 2013. Here you can read that.
A brilliant marketing move, the report is targeted at inhouse prospects as well as current clients. The timing is just right as U.S. corporations face four more years of a liberal administration, there is growing fear about the theft of trade secrets, and the federal justice department has been emboldened by recent wins. Corporate Chief Executive Officers as well as institutional investors are likely breathing down the legal department's neck currently.
Among Crowell & Moring's forecasts is the return of the kinds of torts which were put together against BigTobacco and asbestos. The strategies used there and the lessons learned could be used again - and again. Courts will remain wary of class action suits, however. They will demand more evidence of the existence of the class and what benefit comes to the class. The federal government will investigate the possibility of antitrust actions. Trade secrets will have to be protected and, if necessary, defended in court. And because of the complexity of employment regulations, employers could find themselves accused of wage and hour violations.
How to market in fresh and more effective ways is the discussion topic on a number of legally oriented LinkedIn community groups. Also, a grabber in Mark Herrmann's new book "Inside Straight" is an analysis of what kinds of tactics seems to pan out in rainmaking attempts. Herrmann has unique credibility on new business development because he is now inhouse at Aon and had been partner at Jones Day. And, if we check the help-wanted ads there seems to be more demand for marketing experts for law firms than for lawyers.
Congratulations to Crowell & Moring. In January 2014, we can grade the accuracy of its forecasts. Meanwhile it has the eyeballs in corporate legal departments. That's about as good as it gets for a law firm hunting for business.