Perfecting a Team Approach

The Client
A multinational energy company

The Challenge
Our client faced a number of lawsuits around the country from individual plaintiffs and plaintiff groups alleging health problems from exposure to the chemical benzene.  Although benzene is a basic chemical building block, its use has been limited in the past two decades, so many of the lawsuits involve allegations dating back to the 1980s and earlier.

The cases are each unique, and plaintiff’s lawyers often seek substantial monetary damages.  Our client needed a single law firm to structure its nationwide defense in these lawsuits, and chose Haynes and Boone to serve as national coordinating counsel.

The Haynes and Boone Solution
We worked with other law firms in a number of states, as well as with our client’s in-house legal team to ensure uniformity in the documents produced and depositions taken.  Our goal was to ensure a consistent defense message across the full range of plaintiffs’ allegations and trial venues, while ensuring cost-efficiency.  We effectively coordinated existing documentation, experts and trial strategy of each case. 

In this process we filled a variety of roles: as lead or co-counsel at trial, or as behind-the-scenes coordinator acting as an extension of our client’s general counsel group.  And we have created a “virtual firm” technology infrastructure that makes all trial documents available online to the designated lawyers at the client, the co-counsel firms and our firm, while insuring that document integrity and organization remained consistent from case to case.

The Result
Haynes and Boone’s approach has produced exceptional trial results, and our client has been pleased with the cooperative approach we have structured.  We take a national perspective on what is most effective and cost-efficient for the client in each case.  Moreover, Haynes and Boone’s teamwork philosophy means that our litigators are not vying for individual “credit,” but instead work together to achieve the best result for the client.