We live in an era of online lawyers and print-your-own legal forms, Washington DC attorney Jeffrey Kaliel points out, but not all attorneys have the specialized expertise and experience to represent their clients in every kind of case successfully. It takes a special kind of attorney for high-stakes litigation.
What Kinds of Legal Action Would Be Classified as High-Stakes Litigation?
Certain kinds of legal matters are inherently high-stakes cases. Any criminal charge that carries the possibility of the death penalty, for example, is clearly a high-stakes case. You don’t want to be a defendant in a death penalty case represented by an attorney who has never tried a case before.
Similarly, there are civil actions that are inherently high-stakes cases by the sheer number of people they affect, and the enormous potential judgments that can be assessed against defendants.
But it’s not always about money.
High-stakes actions handled by Jeff Kaliel of KalielGold have included investigating the Department of Homeland Security’s response to Hurricane Katrina for a Congressional committee. Kaliel has also served as a Special Assistant US Attorney in the Southern District of California in border-related cases. He has represented the National Consumers League to fight for truth in the marketplace in advertising food and animal products. He provided representation for the Humane Society’s Compassion Over Killing program.
Some cases are high-stakes because they have important implications for many, many people. But then there really are cases that are about money.
Class-action suits, for instance, are high-stakes cases. They seek damages for dozens, hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people from a single defendant. They may be nation-wide, or state-specific.
For instance, a class of litigants might sue a bank of a credit union over unfounded overdraft fees. Capital One had to pay a $13 million settlement over ATM fees. Fifth Third Bank paid $52 million to settle a class action lawsuit over ATM fees.
A payday lender had to defend a suit over misleading its customers over the APR of their loans. Cadillac was sued because headlights were too dim. A service corporation was sued over misrepresenting funeral services.
These kinds of legal action require attorneys with knowledge of the law, experience with the courts, and access to technical experts to find and verify the data that gets crunched into the numbers that quantify a just reward for the plaintiffs. Not every lawyer invests the time to gain this kind of expertise.
Jeffrey Kaliel Has Over a Decade’s Experience in High-Stakes Litigation
Jeff Kaliel graduated summa cum laude from Amherst in 2000. A Staff Sergeant in the Army, with Airborne and Mountain Warfare qualifications, he served in the second Iraq War in 2003, and gained his law degree from Yale in 2005.
Since 2005, Kaliel has been involved in a series of increasingly complex high-stakes cases in the courtroom, using the law to make lives better. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife Debbie and their three children.