Network Firm News

Friday, October 05, 2007


INSTITUTIONAL INVESTOR recently interviewed clients and attorneys around the United States in preparing its 2008 edition of "BENCHMARK: The Definitive Guide to America's Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys". Here's what the publication had to say about Network of Trial Law Firms member Corr Cronin:

Clients say that Bogle & Gates spin-off, Corr Cronin Michelson Baumgardner & Preece, claims one of “the most talented group of core litigators that exists in any of the state’s litigation boutiques.” Peers confirm that the group boasts influence in the area, largely in commercial, business and product liability litigation. In the latter area, the firm secured a favorable settlement for Bushmaster Firearms in a case brought by two surviving victims and the families of seven deceased victims of the Washington DC snipers. Securities litigation is another strong suit.

Partners are representing a former CEO and chairman against class-action securities fraud claims and parallel investigations stemming from the collapse of a multibilliondollar Spokane company. The firm also played a main role in one of the state’s most high-profile matters when it represented the Hearst Corporation in its battle against The Seattle Times. Additional clients include Alamo Rent-A-Car, McDonald’s, Alaska Airlines, Transamerica Life Insurance, Allied Waste,, Blockbuster and Dow Chemical.

Founding members and co-chairs William “Bill” Cronin and Kelly Corr lead the team of 10 litigators and are hailed as two of the state’s “key names” and “highly capable and effective” trial lawyers.

Cronin maintains a practice emphasizing general commercial, intellectual property and insurance litigation and clients say he is preeminent in classaction suits. Peers describe him as a “cerebral and strategic” lawyer who has a “teaching quality in front of the judge and jury” and clients say he is “incredibly smart when it comes to deconstructing witnesses.” His recent engagements include a role representing Cingular Wireless, successor to AT&T Wireless, in two ongoing insurance coverage cases and helping reach a favorable settlement in a breach of contract suit the client filed against Expedia.

Clients report hiring Corr for their highprofile matters and say he is a “savvy trial attorney” who is “very much a street fighter when he needs to be” and a particular asset in “cases that have a public aspect.” Corr handles commercial liability, employment and product liability matters. In one widely followed success, He represented Dave Grohl, Kirst Novoselic and Nirvana against Courtney Love’s attempts to gain control of the group’s music catalog and prevent the release of the band’s next album.

Sources commend the firm’s other name partners, Kevin Baumgardner and Joshua “Josh” Preece. Baumgardner is recognized as one of the state’s major product liability players. He successfully defended Alaska Airlines in an air quality case brought by a group of flight attendants seeking more than $2 million and has obtained numerous summary judgments and settlements in favor of a group of defendants involved in state asbestos cases. Preece concentrates on legal malpractice, employment and complex commercial litigation and his clients include Safeway, Merit Capital Management and General Electric.

Peers also consistently attest that William “Randy” Squires is “simply great.” Squires boasts broad experience in securities, construction, real estate, tort and commercial matters and his clients include Fluor, Lovelace Biomedical Institute and Red Lion Hotels.

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Twelve Network member firms are ranked "Recommended" or "Highly Recommended" in their State by Institutional Investor in its debut edition of "Benchmark: Litigation, the definitive guide to America's leading litigation firms and attorneys", 2008 edition.

5,000 copies of Benchmark: Litigation will be sent to:

• Fortune1000 general counsel and litigation counsel
• Institutional Investor’s unique database of buyers of legal services in some of the largest companies in each state
• General counsel of the America’s largest investment banks
• Partners at the 50 leading litigation firms in the US
• Partners at the 20 leading litigation firms in each state

The report purports to identify the best all-around 'bet-the-company' trial attorneys in the U.S.

Recommendations for inclusion were based on "extensive face-to-face and telephone interviews with the nation's leading private practice lawyers and in-houe counsel between October, 2006 and May, 2007".

The report states that "[f]irms cannot pay to be recommended. Instead, firms have been independently offered the opportunity to take a professional listing, regardless of editorial content."

In addition to publishing in hard copy, Benchmark: Litigation will be available free of charge on the internet at and at, which has 60,000 registered users. All information in the hard copy of Benchmark: Litigation will be fully searchable online, by a number of flexible parameters.

Network firms Recommended or Highly Recommended

AL Lightfoot Franklin ------ Highly Recommended
AZ Snell & Wilmer ---------- Highly Recommended
CO Wheeler Trigg & Kennedy - Highly Recommended
FL Akerman Senterfitt ------ Recommended
IN Ice Miller -------------- Recommended
MI Dykema Gossett ---------- Recommended
MS Forman Perry, et al. ---- Recommended
NJ Lowenstein Sandler ------ Highly Recommended
NC Moore & Van Allen ------- Recommended
OH Thompson Hine ----------- Highly Recommended
UT Snell & Wilmer ---------- Highly Recommended
VA LeClair Ryan ------------ Recommended
WA Corr Cronin, et al. ----- Highly Recommended

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