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Practice Group

Trial

Trial by jury? We understand that only a fraction of lawsuits will ever make it to trial. That means that most companies—and their lawyers—have very little actual jury trial experience. So when your case is called to trial, you need a trial team with experience.

Our Trial Practice Group knows how to run with your case. We exclusively represent employers—and over the course of trying numerous cases to verdict, we have mastered the ability to distill complicated fact patterns into narratives that connect with juries. We would be honored to tell your side of the story at trial.

Telling Your Story

We partner with our clients to create and refine their trial strategy. Together, we discuss the themes, arguments, procedural and evidentiary issues, witness preparation and testimony, documents, and data that will best support the client’s case. We communicate with our clients at every turn and remain flexible to leverage opportunities that arise before and during trial. Of course, victory at trial can take many forms, depending on the case. However our clients measure success, our Trial Practice Group members work diligently to help them achieve their goals so they can get back to their regular business operations.

Results

We understand how evidence will look, sound, and feel to a jury, and we know the nuances of our clients’ businesses, having tried cases involving numerous industries including:

  • Airline and Railway
  • Construction
  • Government/Defense Contractors
  • Healthcare
  • Higher Education
  • Hospitality/Restaurant
  • Insurance
  • Life Sciences
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional Services
  • Retail
  • Security Services
  • Sports and Entertainment
  • Technology
  • Transportation and Logistics
  • Utilities

Ogletree Deakins’ Trial Practice Group members are adept at trying employment law cases and have successfully defended clients nationwide in trials involving claims for:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Discrimination based on sex, national origin, race, age, disability, and religion
  • Retaliation
  • Defamation
  • Overtime and other wage and hour issues
  • USERRA violations
  • Whistleblower and SOX-type relief
  • Theft of trade secrets
  • Violations of noncompete and nonsolicitation agreements

Some examples of our clients’ successes include:

  • In St. Louis, a jury found in favor of our client, a hospital, after deliberating for only one hour and eight minutes. Despite claims of age discrimination by the plaintiff, our Trial Practice Group members showed the jury that, in fact, the plaintiff had been fired because she had improperly accessed a coworker’s medical records. The plaintiff had demanded $1.4 million at trial.
  • In San Francisco—one of the most employee-friendly jurisdictions in the United States—our Trial Practice Group members obtained a unanimous jury verdict for the employer. The plaintiff, a custodian, had requested to work during a certain shift, but after the employer denied her request, she alleged same-sex sexual harassment, national origin discrimination, and retaliation. Following a six-week trial, the jury disagreed and found entirely in the employer’s favor.
  • In federal court in Texas, our Trial Practice Group members secured a defense verdict in favor of a pharmaceutical company after an employee claimed she had been fired in retaliation for raising a complaint. The employee’s last settlement demand was $850,000.
  • In Los Angeles, our Trial Practice Group members obtained a defense verdict for a large insurance carrier against a plaintiff who was a lawyer licensed to practice in seven states. The plaintiff claimed disability discrimination and had demanded millions before trial.

National Coverage and Innovative Approaches

Ogletree Deakins’ Trial Practice Group attorneys practice in offices throughout the country—which means that our lawyers have knowledge of and experience with plaintiffs’ counsel, judges, and juries in numerous jurisdictions. We share our experiences and insights with each other regularly, including through our internal Trial Practice Group workshops. In addition, our attorneys demonstrate their national leadership in the field by creating and teaching trial skills programs. For example, Ogletree Deakins’ attorneys helped create the innovative American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Trial Institute. Ogletree Deakins’ attorneys are members of the American Employment Law Council and are Fellows of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

Resources

Dynamic trial presentations help engage and persuade jurors. We leverage technology for the smooth presentation of evidence during trial. We also use technology to conduct real-time research in support of extensive and pointed jury selection. In addition, at every stage of the process, we help clients analyze whether certain trial-related expenses will be worthwhile. For example, not every employment case needs an economist, a vocational rehabilitation expert, an expert psychologist, and a workplace investigation expert. Ogletree Deakins’ trial lawyers leverage their collective experience to track fees incurred through trial in different jurisdictions and provide realistic budgets to help our clients manage costs relative to expected returns.

Collaborating With Client Team

Our considerable experience enables us to better prepare our client’s defense from the moment we get involved, whether from the outset of the case, or when parachuting in shortly before trial. Ogletree Deakins’ Trial Practice Group members often collaborate with other firms to help the client build the most qualified, talented, and formidable trial team. Whether as lead counsel or working behind the scenes with an existing team, Ogletree Deakins’ Trial Practice Group members welcome the opportunity to partner with employers.

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