Stan Bernstein, Attorney at Bernstein Liebhard, discussed litigation strategies for plaintiffs during a Thought Leadership Spotlight Presented by Bernstein Liebhard at the 2014 Chief Legal Officer Leadership Forum in New York on March 4. In his presentation, “Best Strategies for the Corporate Plaintiff,” Bernstein noted that being a plaintiff is much different from being a defendant, and attorneys are responsible for developing unique strategies to help both plaintiffs and defendants.
According to Bernstein, factual research is necessary to develop a successful strategy for a corporate plaintiff. Interviewing employees and analyzing theories can help an attorney evaluate a legal case, Bernstein added. In addition, Bernstein noted that attorneys should take the initiative so they can stay up to date and review as much information as possible: “As a plaintiff, let’s find out what we’re going to find good and bad and generally at corporations you hear the good really easily. The bad takes a little bit of digging and a little bit of romance.”
However, the statute of limitations can make it difficult for some attorneys, Bernstein said, because where a lawyer sues may impact what statute of limitations applies. Bernstein stated that time runs quickly, but an attorney who gets experts involved in the case early can succeed: “Make sure that you hire them as a consultant early, before the complaint is filed. This is the real key: before you draft the complaint and you come up with the theory of liability, ask the expert if this works. It doesn’t pay to come up with a theory and then the expert says, ‘I don’t agree with that.'”