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Pragmatic Issues on Settlement Versus Trial for Legal Malpractice Cases

A panel of national thought leaders will address the hot topic of settlement versus trial in the context of a legal malpractice claim at the upcoming CLM Cyber, Management, and Professional Liability Conference at the Boston Waterfront Hotel on July 11, 2019. "Attorneys on the receiving end of a legal malpractice action likely have a decided opinion on whether to try or resolve the case," explained Phil Grennan, a nationally acclaimed litigator with the Seattle and Portland offices of WSHB. Grennan, who will lead the panel of thought leaders, explained "as retention's erode and reputations are on the line, the inclination to find justice and absolution collide with accolades to settlement."

  • Full service national law firm founded in 1997 with over 250 attorneys in 24 offices in 15 states across the U.S.
  • Tried over 900 cases to verdict; internationally recognized for exceptionally high rate of success
  • Recognized as one of the top two law firms in the nation for inclusiveness of women lawyers in the National Law Journal’s 2017 Women’s Scorecard
  • Ranked #4 on The American Lawyer’s 2016 Diversity Scorecard
  • Top 10 ranking on Law360’s 2016 list of “The 100 Best Law Firms for Female Attorneys"  
  • Top 20 ranking on Law360's 2016 list of "The Best Law Firms for Minority Attorneys"
  • Named "Go-To Law Firm" in ALM's annual edition of In-House Law Departments at the Top 500 Companies
  • Top 200 ranking on Law360's 400 2018 list of largest U.S. Law Firms

WSHB Partner Jade Tran Named to Lawyers of Color’s “Nation’s Best” List

WSHB Partner Jade Tran (Orange County) has been named to Lawyers of Color's inaugural "Nation's Best" list, which recognizes law firm partners and senior-level corporate counsel. Selection is based on noteworthy accomplishments and a commitment to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. Lawyers of Color is a 501(c)(3) non-profit devoted to promoting diversity in the legal profession and advancing democracy and equality in marginalized communities.

WSHB Senior Associate Selected for 2020 Diversity Leadership & Mentoring Program

WSHB Senior Associate Eva Sullivan (New York) has been selected as one of only ten members for the Professional Liability Underwriting Society's (PLUS) 2020 Diversity Leadership & Mentoring Program (LAMP). LAMP is one-year leadership development training program for PLUS members from diverse and traditionally under-represented groups within the professional liability insurance industry. The curriculum focuses on leadership coaching and includes matching participants with senior-level PLUS members who have agreed to serve as mentors throughout the program.

A Withering Assault

In September 2018, we assessed the impact of the headline-grabbing $289 million verdict delivered by a San Francisco jury in DeWayne Johnson v. Monsanto Company. Johnson, a former school groundskeeper, alleged that his occupational use of the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup caused him to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). We predicted that the verdict would lead to more glyphosate lawsuits and an increased focus on toxic torts, but concluded that this result would not make glyphosates the next asbestos. As expected, the Johnson verdict was reduced to $78 million by a trial court and is now on appeal. But in the meantime, Monsanto, a unit of Bayer AG, was hit first with an $80 million judgment in federal court in the Northern District of California in Edwin Hardeman v. Monsanto Company, and then, more recently, with an eye-popping $2 billion verdict from the Alameda County Superior Court in Alva and Alberta Pilliod v. Monsanto Company. So the $2 billion question is, what does this mean for the future of glyphosate litigation and toxic torts in general?

The Natural Progression of Natural Disasters

Reports indicate that insured losses from the Southern California Woolsey fire will total at least $2.5 billion. The total economic loss from the Woolsey fire is estimated to be anywhere from $4 to $6 billion, according to Corelogic. The combination of expensive materials, a shortage in the construction workforce, and a high demand to rebuild will yield an expensive result. This event is shaping up to be another example of a trend: Because of the devastating amount of damage caused by fires, floods, and hurricanes, it will cost a lot more to rebuild than is covered under applicable insurance policies. When there is simply “not enough insurance,” the challenges to resolving claims successfully are exceedingly complex.

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