Notable Representations, Key Contacts
Weil Named Top 20 Trials Practice in the United States
Benchmark Litigation, 2021
Weil Named Trials Practice Group of the Year
Law360, 2017 and 2019
Success at Trial. While our litigation group is well-versed in all aspects and phases of the litigation process in jurisdictions around the world, we have particularly robust experience taking our clients’ most important matters to trial – and we have a track record of success.
- Weil’s Litigation Department counts more than two dozen, first-chair trial lawyers who regularly coordinate and try complex cases. We seek to engender in all of our litigation attorneys a trial-ready posture at the outset of every matter.
- Weil is regularly called upon to manage and try cases that involve emerging technology, significant damages, and/or issues of first impression.
- Though we typically handle the majority of our trial work in the course of an existing representation, we occasionally are called in by other firms, and their clients, to assist with or lead trial proceedings just before they commence.
- We excel at navigating our clients through multijurisdictional, multi-phase matters that involve a range of practices.
An Efficient Approach. We recognize that each case affords the opportunity to win prior to trial. Clients hire us because we have the ability to identify the weaknesses in our adversary’s case quickly and the broad knowledge to take advantage of those weaknesses and to emphasize the strengths of our clients’ cases. Our goals are always to assist our clients in managing risk, capitalizing on strategic opportunities, and obtaining the best results in litigation.
Weil litigation partners are consistently trying cases before judges, juries or arbitration panels in venues around the world, and our extraordinary efforts have resulted in substantial, game-changing outcomes for our clients. In the last two years alone, more than 26 litigation partners have tried and won a case – avoiding billions in liability for our clients.
Weil secured a complete defense jury verdict for C&S Wholesale Grocers following nine days of trial in April 2018 in an antitrust class action in Minnesota federal court. The jury’s verdict erased several hundred million dollars sought in treble damages, plus attorneys’ fees, and brought nine years of litigation to a close. Plaintiffs alleged that New England-based C&S and Supervalu, another leading wholesaler based in the Midwest, entered into a conspiracy to allocate the New England and Midwest territories between themselves for a period of five years, resulting in inflated grocery prices. The other defendant settled before trial. Weil partners David Lender and Eric Hochstadt, who led the trial team, were recognized as The American Lawyer’s “Litigators of the Week,” in which the publication characterized the rare, high-stakes case as “An Antitrust Unicorn – With $800M on the Line.” The team also won Global Competition Review’s “Litigators of the Week” accolades for its role in securing this win. In 2020, following oral argument, the Eighth Circuit affirmed the verdict dismissing all claims, and the U.S. Supreme Court subsequently denied plaintiffs’ motion for a writ of certiorari.
Weil served as lead trial counsel for Johnson & Johnson in the mass tort talc litigation brought in New Jersey state court. After a four-week trial, Weil secured a complete defense jury verdict in October 2018. The plaintiff alleged that J&J’s baby powder contains asbestos and causes cancer. This lawsuit is one of many similar cases currently pending in courts around the United States, in which plaintiffs allege that the use of talcum powder caused lung cancer or ovarian cancer, but this is the first defense verdict for J&J in a talc case in New Jersey courts. The American Lawyer awarded Weil lead trial partner Diane Sullivan “Litigator of the Week” honors for securing the verdict. Law360 also highlighted the win as a landmark victory of 2018. CVN showcased the win as the most impressive defense verdict of the year.
Weil subsequently served as co-lead trial counsel for Johnson & Johnson in a similar case in New Jersey state court alleging that exposure to asbestos in J&J’s baby powder contributed to him developing cancer. Following four weeks of trial, in March 2019, the jury returned a unanimous, 6-0 verdict after deliberating for less than 25 minutes. As a result of the victory, Weil was named a “Legal Lion” by Law360.
Following closely on the heels of this victory, in May 2019 Weil served as lead trial counsel in a separate lawsuit in the mass tort talc litigation in South Carolina state court alleging that exposure to asbestos in J&J’s baby powder contributed to the plaintiff developing a rare form of cancer. Following one week of trial, the jury returned a unanimous, 12-0 verdict in favor of J&J on every question.
Secured a total victory for Morgan Stanley in November 2015 after a New York federal jury issued a verdict of no liability in a trial of private insider trading claims asserted by a Russian billionaire and his Netherlands-based investment vehicle, Veleron Holdings. The jury reached its verdict after two weeks of trial in the Southern District of New York. Plaintiff alleged that Morgan Stanley was improperly short-selling stock of Magna International – a Canadian auto-parts manufacturer in which plaintiff had invested $1.5 billion just prior to the start of the financial crisis – based on purported insider information gleaned by Morgan Stanley from BNP Paribas, the lending bank that funded plaintiff’s investment in Magna, and that had entered into a series of derivative transactions with Morgan Stanley referencing Magna stock. In June 2017, the Second Circuit affirmed.
Weil has “excellent expertise and trial lawyers who know their way around the courtroom.”
Chambers USA 2021
One source noted: "They're extremely bright, creative thinkers. They're very good in court on their feet in arguments, hearings and witness examination."
Chambers USA 2020
Weil’s trial attorneys are “skilled in breaking down complicated matters for juries.”
Law360, Trials Practice Group of the Year, January 27, 2017
Weil’s litigation lawyers are "zealous advocates with real trial experience and good judgment."
Benchmark USA 2017