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Small Firms Fighting Big Companies

by Carolyn Elefant on November 27, 2005 · 2 comments

in Celebrating Solos, Practice Areas, Solo Profiles

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I loved Jonathan Harr’s A Civil Action and so I was happy to come across this article, Two Person Firm Wrestles Oil Giant (November 26, 2005) about another small firm doing battle with a major corporation, albeit with better results.   But it’s still an uphill fight.  From the lead of the article:

It’s the old tale of David and Goliath.  A tiny law firm in Kansas City’s River Market took on one of the big five oil giants and won a multimillion-dollar personal injury lawsuit.  That was in September. But attorney Lon Walters still has 24 more cases against BP Amoco involving people who say they became ill or saw loved ones die after being exposed to massive oil spills from a refinery in Sugar Creek.  The cases are being watched by lawyers across the country to see how the firm of Walters and associate Christin Cipolla beats the odds, and if it can continue to do so.

“These cases are very costly and very time-consuming,” said Michael B. Leh, a tort attorney in Philadelphia. “In many cases, it is very comparable to A Civil Action,” a book and film about a small law firm’s uphill battle against W.R. Grace & Co.

But the real question is:  if a case like that showed up at your door, would you take it?

  • Stephen Terrell

    I’ve taken on several of these cases. The most extensive was an employment case against a Diocese of the Catholic Church which went on for a decade. Some fights are worth the battle, even though you won’t profit by them. Some people need to be represented when they are being abused and are powerless to fight by themselves. More than anything, that’s why I became a lawyer.

  • Stephen Terrell

    I’ve taken on several of these cases. The most extensive was an employment case against a Diocese of the Catholic Church which went on for a decade. Some fights are worth the battle, even though you won’t profit by them. Some people need to be represented when they are being abused and are powerless to fight by themselves. More than anything, that’s why I became a lawyer.

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