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Complex Torts Practice Group Brings Together the Firm's Top Tort Trial Lawyers

Trial Spotlight Newsletter

One of Baker Donelson's largest, if not the largest, litigation practices is the defense of complex tort cases. These lawyers have wide ranging experience in many areas such as catastrophic injury and wrongful death, business torts, and property rights, among others. While contracts are sometimes involved, the cases they handle always have one thing in common – did someone have a duty, and if so, did they breach it?

About a year ago, we took a deep dive to determine how best to position these attorneys in service of the Firm's clients. Over time, our tort-focused practice groups had become increasingly specialized, and as a result, these lawyers were spread out over several practice areas. It was clear that both our clients and the Firm would benefit by bringing all of these talented lawyers together in one group. Our new Complex Torts Practice Group was born and officially launched on March 13, 2020.

One of the benefits that was immediately obvious to us was the excellent client service we could deliver by having our most accomplished complex tort trial lawyers working together in one group. Clients know that successfully trying a case is not necessarily about subject matter, rather it is about experience and skill in the courtroom. The Complex Tort Practice Group will provide an opportunity to build the best trial teams and deliver exceptional client service – from the beginning of a case through final resolution.

Brad Smith and Ken Klemm are just two examples of attorneys who were previously in highly specialized practice groups – health care litigation and transportation, respectively. While both have deep subject matter expertise in several areas, they are also two of Baker Donelson's very best trial lawyers. They have successfully tried a wide variety of cases - product liability, class actions, environmental losses, construction, health care facilities, director and officer liability, errors and omissions, indemnity rights, tortious interference, catastrophic injury and wrongful death, insurance, property rights, and more. Successful outcomes require highly skilled trial lawyers who know how to present a case to a jury – no matter how complex the facts or the law may be – and win.

Brad Smith is a shareholder in the Firm's Jackson, Mississippi office and has been trying cases throughout the Southeast for more than 25 years. Brad's approach to a successful trial strategy is straightforward. He states, "Early in each case, it is critical to develop a defense strategy and theme that will connect with jurors. All discovery, particularly expert discovery, should advance that trial theme in a manner that simplifies jurors' choice at trial, rather than overdevelopment and promotion of technical proof and defenses. As early as voir dire, I make every effort to connect the defense theme with jurors' life experiences."

Ken Klemm is a shareholder in the Firm's New Orleans, Louisiana office and co-chair of the Firm's Oil & Gas Industry Service Team. Ken has tried more than 20 cases to verdict in both federal and state courts. His approach to a successful trial is to tell a story.  "A litigator must be a good storyteller. In essence, a trial should be like telling a good story to the judge or the jury. The better the judge or jury understands your client's story, the better chance that your client will have of succeeding on the merits of a claim or defense."

For more information about our new Complex Torts Practice Group and its trial lawyers, please contact the group's chairperson, Jennifer Cooper

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