For the partners at Napoli Shkolnik, living and working within New York State, without maintaining a nationwide presence, would certainly provide plenty of work. This is a global business and financial center with a statewide population of 19.5 million, and if it were a nation New York would have the 10th largest economy in the world. The issues causing the most harm in the United States – civil rights violations, medical and product safety issues, and the opioid crisis – aren’t contained to any particular state. They’re nationwide problems, and it requires a nationwide firm to represent victims effectively.
Taking this stance has given us the opportunity to bring our expertise and spirit to important cases inside and outside New York, like representing the citizens of Flynt, MI, after the city switched to a cheaper water source, even though they knew it would be toxic, or representing county and city governments struggling with the resource-drain of widespread opioid addiction. We’ve also been able to represent clients across the country in products liability suits and civil rights litigation—such as suing Johnson & Johnson for racially motivated marketing of dangerous talcum products.
Having a nationwide footprint also gives us the strength to take on formidable opponents. That’s been the case in opioid litigation: pharmaceutical companies, with their endless resources, fight a war of attrition in the courts, and without a deep bench of personnel and the ability to work concurrently in different jurisdictions, we’d have a hard time winning for our clients. It’s also been true in the many cases where we’ve fought for plaintiffs who have no money for lawyers. Those are the ones that matter the most to us, and it’s our nationwide reach that’s allowed us to notch victories.
In many cases, being a nationwide firm has also allowed us to bring the power and profile of a New York law firm to cases that might not otherwise get the attention or legal expertise we can provide. That’s true of environmental law cases in less developed states; it’s true of our practice in Puerto Rico; and it’s been true of numerous products liability cases over the years. Our access to expert witnesses and legal scholars who can bolster our theories has helped us win large settlements—and more importantly deliver much-needed relief to victims.
Finally, a nationwide footprint gives us an opportunity to learn about cases we otherwise might not. We pride ourselves on our lawyers’ ability to assess the viability of a case and lay out options for a plaintiff, often in the first conversation they have. And when those conversations reveal significant harms, we pride ourselves even more on our ability to deliver meaningful results.