Mayer Brown lawyers have been involved in all of the significant punitive damages cases before the US Supreme Court since the late 1980s, serving as counsel of record for the business defendant in four of those cases, including BMW of North America, Inc. v. Gore, 517 U.S. 559 (1996), the Court’s landmark case on excessive punitive damages, and Philip Morris USA v. Williams, 549 U.S. 346 (2007). The firm’s Punitive Damages practice also authored influential amicus briefs for the Chamber of Commerce of the United States in State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Campbell, 538 U.S. 408 (2003), and Cooper Industries, Inc. v. Leatherman Tool Group, Inc., 532 U.S. 424 (2001), and for a consortium of amici in Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, 554 U.S. 471 (2008). In addition, members of our Punitive Damages practice have represented business defendants and amici in punitive damages litigation in federal and state courts throughout the United States, including in the capacity of national coordinating counsel. We have assisted clients at all stages of punitive damages litigation, from developing defenses and drafting motions in limine to assisting with post-trial motions and handling appeals.
We have enjoyed a high degree of success in the scores of punitive damages cases in which we have been involved. In several cases, appellate courts reversed and rendered judgment in favor of our clients. In numerous other cases, we succeeded in obtaining new trials or very substantial reductions of the punitive award. Collectively, our clients have saved more than $3.5 billion as a result of appeals and/or post-trial motions handled by our Punitive Damages practice.
Mayer Brown lawyers have published extensively on the subject of punitive damages, including a chapter on litigating punitive damages cases in the multi-volume treatise Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts (Robert L. Haig editor, 4th ed., West 2016). That chapter provides a comprehensive discussion of tactical issues involved in litigating all phases of a case in which punitive damages are sought. In addition, our lawyers have participated in numerous panels on punitive damages, including leading a full-day interactive session on the topic with key clients of the firm.
No firm has contributed more to the favorable development of the law of punitive damages than Mayer Brown.