Kaye Scholer Launches Second Opinion Service

First AmLaw 100 firm to form team of nationally known trial lawyer, expert appellate advocate and respected jurist

November 12, 2013

New York: Kaye Scholer today launched its Second Opinion Service, which provides companies facing high-risk, complex litigation with an independent and objective analysis of its dispute.

“The medical profession has long recognized the important role of second opinions. When faced with a prospect of major surgery, a patient often seeks another opinion to ensure that the proposed treatment is the right one. Similarly, Kaye Scholer is offering clients and non-clients alike the opportunity to get a Second Opinion from a three-person team of nationally known litigators,” said Michael Solow, Kaye Scholer’s Managing Partner. “Our Second Opinion Service is completely independent; we do not seek to replace current counsel in any matter where we provide a second opinion.”

Solow added, “Kaye Scholer is the only AmLaw 100 firm to offer a second opinion program modeled on these lines, where each matter is analyzed by the same three-person panel consisting of a seasoned trial lawyer, an appellate expert, and a highly respected, former New York State Court judge, and includes a free initial consultation, followed by a fixed-fee, limited-time engagement.”

Kaye Scholer’s Second Opinion Team consists of the following lawyers:

  • Alan Salpeter (Chicago): Salpeter has tried nearly 70 bench and jury trials and argued over 20 appeals in state and federal courts throughout the country.  Chambers USA (2007) described Salpeter as a “premiere trial lawyer and masterful strategist.” A Fellow in both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, Salpeter also teaches “The Strategy of Litigation” at Northwestern Law School. Salpeter is particularly experienced in corporate, securities, financial services, technology and pharmaceutical litigation.
  • Steven Rosenthal (Washington, DC): Rosenthal has extensive arbitration, trial court and appellate experience on matters involving constitutional law, administrative law, as well as general commercial litigation. He has argued several cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and about 40 cases in the federal and state appellate courts throughout the country.  In April 2013, Rosenthal argued before the U.S. Supreme Court a high profile case on behalf of the Port of the City of Los Angeles on issues involving interstate trucking and state environmental law. Previously, he won a case in the U.S. Supreme Court which held that it was unconstitutional to impose social security taxes on federal judges in office.
  • Honorable James M. Catterson (New York): Prior to joining Kaye Scholer, Judge Catterson was a trial judge in the New York court system for six years where he tried over 600 and settled over a thousand cases. He then became an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, First Department of the New York Supreme Court for nine years where he participated in more than 6,000 civil and criminal appeals. He authored more than 250 opinions and dissents during that period.  Before becoming a judge, Catterson served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of New York and was Chief of the Asset Forfeiture Unit.

“Before launching this service, we spoke with Fortune 500 firms, CEOs, General Counsel and directors of public companies. We asked them whether the Second Opinion Service, as we conceived it, would be of value,” said Salpeter. “The reaction is overwhelmingly favorable.  The marketplace likes the idea of a free initial consultation, followed by a fixed-fee, limited-time engagement. Reaction also was positive to our pledge of independence and objectivity,” explained Salpeter. “Under no circumstances will we try to compete with or replace existing counsel.”

Rosenthal added that “the benefit of having three different litigation perspectives makes our Second Opinion Service unique. While each of us is a ‘litigator,’ we each view disputes through a different lens. It’s a whole new approach to risk management when it comes to high stakes cases. The real question is not why would you want a Second Opinion; it’s why wouldn’t you?” Rosenthal said. “Perhaps we should have named this the ‘Peace of Mind Service’ or the ‘Ultimate Risk Management Service―that’s the true benefit clients will realize.’”

Kaye Scholer’s Second Opinion Service is of particular value, when:

  • the client reaches a critical decision point in a case
  • the Board of Directors, Audit Committee, General Counsel or Senior Management needs assurances that the matter is being properly analyzed
  • the client is deciding whether to settle the matter or to take it to trial (or pursue appeal)
  • a disagreement exists about the likely outcome or the amount of risk presented by the case

“Our Second Opinion Team has 108 years of collective experience. It definitely can assist clients in answering these and related questions. The blending of our skill sets and experiences results in dispassionate and unbiased advice and, ultimately, in a better decision about the correct strategy for resolving a complex matter,” said Judge Catterson.

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