Our firm has at all times an attorney who is permitted to practice in the USA. Furthermore, the firm’s founder is a member of the IADC, a lawyers’ association whose members specialize in representing companies being sued in the USA for comparatively low prices. Our firm however does not represent clients in U.S. courts.
Our firm offers the following services:
There are various ways German companies and/or private individuals may come into contact with U.S. law, for example thru
The distinctive features of US procedural law allow US attorneys to make sizable profits from US legal proceedings. As such, foreign persons/businesses should start considering early on how to minimize procedural costs, costs which they will not recover from the opposing party even if they win the lawsuit.
As a part of our consulting practice, we are regularly active in the following areas of US law:
Any product defect may cause loss or damage, and manufacturers are therefore frequently required to make financial compensation for such damages. Whereas the liability rules applying to manufacturers inside the EU are relatively uniform, outside the EU, particularly in the USA, entirely different rules apply.
There is no uniform product liability legislation in the USA. Rather product liability is governed by the state tort law where the product is put on the market or where the damage occurs. Tort law varies from state to state which means there are 51 different sets of laws applying to product liability in the USA.
In the USA, if a product has caused a large number of similar cases involving loss or damage, there is a possibility that the courts will declare all potentially affected individuals as a single plaintiff (a class). If a lawsuit becomes a class action, the entire damage amount as well as the contingency fee of the plaintiff’s attorney will increase exponentially.
Almost all product liability suits are conducted on a contingency fee basis. The plaintiff’s attorney bears the risk of litigation costs and if successful receives up to 40% of the total damages awarded. Since the amount of damages is practically always determined by a jury, and they automatically assume that a contingency fee agreement is in place, the sum awarded to the plaintiff is increased by the estimated value of the contingency fee. This would explain the sometimes outrageous amounts of damages awarded.
In the USA, the litigating parties and their attorneys are responsible for gathering evidence after the lawsuit is filed but before the trail begins (pre-trial discovery). In contrast to most European nations, each party in the USA has a right to view all the opposing party’s documents and paperwork that are relevant to the proceedings. Since this right has for several years now been extended to also cover all electronically stored data (referred to as “e-discovery”), poor preparation for this, frequently very time-consuming, part of the civil proceedings can amount to substantial sums being incurred for this process alone. For this reason, many plaintiffs, even in virtually hopeless proceedings, attempt to compel the opposing party into a settlement in order to avoid the discovery costs.
In many insurance policies, U.S. related risks are either excluded completely or covered to only a very limited extent. It is therefore advisable to clarify these matters with the insurer well in advance.
In the USA, each party, even if they win their lawsuit, will be responsible for covering their own costs. Due to the particularities of US civil proceedings, the costs of such proceedings are often several times higher than in similar EU proceedings. As such, it is strongly advised from the start of such proceedings to implement professional cost management measures even before selecting a US law firm. If a US lawsuit is being threatened or has been served or a US regulatory proceeding has been initiated against a German company, then it is imperative to immediately engage suitable US defense counsel in the USA. For this purpose, it may be necessary for someone to process a large number of non-English documents and subsequently prepare English versions of the documents for the U.S. attorneys. Thanks to our years of experience in this field, the necessary related costs for such actions can be significantly reduced.