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The Innovation of Litigation Management

Sponsored content graciously presented by Baylor Law

A fter a decade in which corporate counsel have faced increasing pressure to predict and control legal spend, litigation management is emerging as its own specialization. Litigation that achieves client objectives, on time and on budget, doesn’t happen effortlessly. It requires counsel who understand not only the litigation process, but also the business practices and rapidly-evolving technologies needed for managing sophisticated litigation. Baylor Law, perennially one of the top-ranked law schools in the nation for litigation training, is launching an Executive LL.M. in Litigation Management to address these realities.

The breadth of capabilities needed today for sophisticated litigation management requires specialized training. Presumably some of these skills can be acquired over time solely from experience in the field, but we believe litigation leaders (both inside counsel and outside counsel) will benefit greatly from an immersion into a comprehensive framework for litigation management. Baylor Law has recruited national leaders in litigation to assist in both the development and the teaching of the Executive LL.M. in Litigation Management.

The program will not teach theory, but rather best practices. We will be going out into the market and finding the people doing various aspects of litigation management in the very best way and bringing them in as faculty. Our goal is to make the program a melting pot of the best of practices out there.

Some of the leading lawyers and judges who will be serving as professors and guest experts include:

  • Keith Calcote (Motiva associate general counsel – litigation)
  • Kyle Dreyer (Hartline Dacus litigation partner in Dallas)
  • Liz Fraley (Baylor Law professor and trial lawyer)
  • Brian Gaffney (AT&T senior legal counsel – Intellectual Property Litigation)
  • Steven Geiszler (Huawei Technologies US Chief Intellectual Property Litigation Counsel)
  • US District Court Judge Rodney Gilstrap (Eastern District of Texas)
  • Nick Groombridge (Paul Weiss litigation partner in New York)
  • Holly Hernandez (Acacia Research Group senior vice president)
  • Cliff Hutchinson (K&L Gates litigation partner in Dallas)
  • US District Court Judge Ed Kinkeade (Northern District of Texas)
  • Ben Ostapuk (Intel Corporation director of patent litigation)
  • Robert Parker (Rothwell Figg litigation partner in Washington, DC)
  • Stan Perry (Reed Smith litigation partner in Houston)
  • Chris Schultz (Level 2 Legal General Counsel)
  • Violet Sullivan (ePlace Solutions cybersecurity consulting practice manager)

Successfully and efficiently managing litigation involves teamwork between the client and the lawyers. This cannot happen unless one truly understands the process and has the tools necessary for managing litigation. Baylor’s LL.M. in Litigation Management will provide that understanding and equip its participants with the necessary tools.  

The Executive LL.M. program will focus on the multiple disciplines required for successful litigation management. The curriculum includes:

  • Case assessment, including early case assessment techniques and technology, and the use of economical jury testing methods, both early in the case and immediately before trial.
  • Value-based billing, including both the initial evaluation of and the ongoing management of various forms of alternative fee agreements.
  • Litigation metrics, covering the most common and useful types of metrics for assessing whether a litigation team is on or off track.
  • E-discovery, including the law, the latest developments in technology and technology-assisted review, and the recommendations for best practices in electronic discovery as it expands to encompass new forms of digital data.
  • Litigation project management, in its various forms, as it is used to keep a litigation team on track and on budget for success.
  • Data analytics, including the growing use of both descriptive analytics (to rapidly identify patterns and trends useful in the litigation) and predictive analytics (to help guide the actual decisions in litigation).
  • Cybersecurity, covering the fundamental best practices required today, the regulatory schemes (federal, state, and international) imposing cybersecurity requirements on many types of litigation and industries, and the rapidly growing necessity for cybersecurity audits of outside counsel and vendors.
  • Proving and attacking damages, covering the basic valuation methodologies (including discounting to present value) for multiple forms of business losses, lost profits, intellectual property damages, real property damages, and personal injury/wrongful death damages.
  • Management of expert witnesses, including application of Daubert and Frye restrictions on admissibility of expert testimony, and variations between jurisdictions in the existence and type of privilege accorded to communications between litigation counsel and testifying experts.
  • Complex arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) issues, including negotiating arbitration and ADR structural details after initiation of the dispute, litigating questions of arbitrability, management of judicial proceedings before, during, and after an arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act, and management of international arbitration.
  • Management of complex litigation, covering ethics issues, jurisdictional issues, preemption issues, pretrial case management issues, valuation and settlement issues, and trial management issues.
  • Litigation crisis management, including advance preparation for the prevention, management, and resolution of crisis situations, consideration of potential criminal liability, evaluation of privilege and potential conflicts of interest between individuals and the organization, streamlining of early fact gathering, and implementation of an internal/external communication plan.
  • Management of regulatory investigations, focusing on anticipating and responding to investigations initiated by various governmental regulatory agencies, and including complexities resulting from accompanying criminal issues, from parallel civil litigation, and from navigating the competing organizational and individual interests of various stakeholders.
  • Future trends in litigation technology, including the rapidly emerging possibilities offered by artificial intelligence, virtual reality, blockchain, and other technologies that appear likely to transform major aspects of litigation, trial presentation, and litigation management.
  • Key legal issues, including forum battles, insurance coverage issues, and privilege issues.

The Executive LL.M. is specifically designed for lawyers who plan to continue working while progressing through the degree program. The majority of the course work will be delivered remotely, requiring approximately 10 hours per week of online classes and discussions. The program spans three trimesters, leading to an intensive week of personal interaction with national experts on the Baylor Law campus at the end of each trimester.

About the Authors

Dave-DialDavid A. Dial, the managing partner of Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial, leads the firm’s nationally recognized Construction Litigation Practice, representing construction company owners, sureties, architects/engineers, general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers. Dial graduated from Baylor University School of Law as the highest-ranking student in his class and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia.

Jim-WrenJames Wren is professor of law at Baylor University Law School who serves as director of its Executive LL.M. Program in Litigation Management. Wren served as president of the National Board of Trial Advocacy — the ABA-accredited national certifying board for civil trial, criminal trial, and other legal specializations — from 2009-2011, and now serves on its National Board of Directors. He continues to represent clients in various courts around the nation and is licensed for federal practice before, among others, the US Supreme Court.

The information in any resource collected in this virtual library should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on specific facts and should not be considered representative of the views of its authors, its sponsors, and/or ACC. These resources are not intended as a definitive statement on the subject addressed. Rather, they are intended to serve as a tool providing practical advice and references for the busy in-house practitioner and other readers.