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Litigation Careers – Work As A Business Litigation Lawyer

When wondering what to do with a law degree, people often picture themselves in litigation careers like the characters they see in TV and movies. One of these litigation careers would be that of a business litigation lawyer.

These types of lawyers handle the wide gamut of disputes and problems that occur in the business world including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, unfair competition, as well as fraud and misrepresentation. A business litigation lawyer may represent competitors, partners, joint ventures, corporations, banks, hospitals, real estate investors, corporate officers and directors.

Today’s guest, Craig Rutenberg, is a business litigation lawyer and a law firm partner in Los Angeles. Craig tells us that these litigation careers are exciting because you get to plan and implement strategies to help clients achieve their goals – and the clients may be big companies with household names.

  Join JD Careers Out There for access to this video plus more day-in-the-life career path interview videos & transcripts.
 
 
WATCH A SNEAK PEEK

Today’s Guest

Attorney Craig RutenbergBusiness Litigation Attorney Craig Rutenberg
Title: Partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips
City: Los Angeles, CA
Law School: UCLA School of Law in Los Angeles, CA
College: University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA

 

Business Litigation Lawyer

When things go sour and parties to a dispute aren’t able to find resolution, it’s the role of the business litigation lawyer to try to put the pieces back together for clients. Although these types of lawyers do get courtroom action, a lot more of their time is spent writing briefs, negotiating with adversaries and talking with clients. They also spend a lot of time in pretrial discovery searching through documents and taking depositions of witnesses to find the hidden gem that could benefit their client.

As in any litigation careers, a good business litigation lawyer is always learning new subjects in order to become the expert on the facts and the law for all of their clients’ cases. This requires learning the inner workings of their businesses and industries. Find out more about law jobs in litigation and being a business litigation lawyer in this career video.

 

TRANSCRIPT PREVIEW

This is a preview of the video transcript on law jobs in litigation and being a business litigation lawyer.

Join JD Careers Out There for access to the full version of this transcript plus the career video library & transcripts.

Luber: Hey everyone, today on JD Careers Out There we’re exploring what it’s like to be a business litigation lawyer. It’s gonna be interesting stuff – so stick around! [theme song]

Alright, as you may already know, at JDCOT we explore career paths both in and out of law to help you find a career that fits you and help you succeed using your law degree.

I’m your host Marc Luber, the founder of JDCOT. I’ve always used my law degree to work in alternative careers for lawyers – first in the music industry and then as a legal recruiter. I’ve been helping lawyers with their careers since 2003 and I’m excited for the opportunity to help you.

Today’s guest is Craig Rutenberg, a business litigation lawyer and a Partner at the Los Angeles-based law firm of Manatt Phelps & Phillips. I asked Craig to tell us about his practice and what it’s like to be a business litigator. Here’s a look at how that went:

Craig Rutenberg: I’m a business litigator at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. We have about 300 attorneys nationwide in 8 offices. My practice consists primarily of representing individuals and entities in a broad range of commercial disputes involving contract and tort claims like breach of fiduciary duty, unfair competition, fraud and misrepresentation.

I’ve represented a wide range of individuals like officers and directors as well as a number of different kinds of entities like corporations, hospitals.

A number of my cases often touch in one way or another on real estate, so I’ve represented investors, partnerships, but the business litigation spectrum runs the wide gamut of disputes and problems that occur in the business world between either competitors or partners or joint ventures when things go sour and we are there to sort of try to put the pieces back together.

Despite all of these differences though, I approach these cases in the same way.

And our first step is always collaborating with the client to understand what the client’s goals are in resolving the disputes, then developing a strategy to achieve those goals and the tactics to implement the strategy.

And then once we put that together, we’re constantly in a position of reevaluating our strategy and our tactics to see if they’re effectively meeting the goals of the client.

Luber: Excellent. Okay. So, do this for everybody. Walk us through a typical fact pattern, an exciting fact pattern. Let everybody kind of see what a situation could be like that you’d be handling.

Craig Rutenberg: Sure. In the real estate world, I’ve represented property owners in commercial disputes over the use of property and I’ve represented a number of lenders or investors in foreclosure proceedings.

I’ve represented banks in lawsuits against both borrowers, as well as in lawsuits against other banks where the banks had entered their participation agreement and they’re sharing the loan obligations and the loan has been mismanaged.

I’ve done false advertising cases between competitors and I’ve done – I’m currently representing a hospital in a large dispute with a disgruntled physician where there’s been a series of litigation ongoing for the last 12 years.

Luber: So, would you say that what you do is like what we see on TV? Is it a courtroom all the time, action-packed adventure? What’s the reality?

Craig Rutenberg: I’m not at all like TV most of the time. I certainly do get to go into the courtroom, but it’s not nearly as unrestrained and it doesn’t really provide the platform for extemporaneous opinion-making and speaking the way you might have seen on some of the David Kelly or L.A. Law shows.

But it certainly is an opportunity to persuasively advocate on behalf of your client in a public forum and to try to persuade a judge to see the case the way you see it. And there is, you know, an Indiana Jones element to the job, which is that a lot of the pretrial discovery work is an investigation.

And not only are you seeking the truth, but you’re also seeking the jewels of the case, which are the best pieces of evidence. And that often is like an archeological expedition where you have to sift through a lot of dirt and dust and unremarkable documents to find the true jewels and the ones that are really going to make your case.

So, there’s a lot more time sitting in a desk in front of the computer, writing briefs, negotiating with adversaries and talking with clients than you ever see on TV. But it doesn’t mean we’re not having as much fun.

Luber: Excellent. And I like that analogy. You don’t sit and wear a hat, do you?

Craig Rutenberg: No, I don’t wear the hat, just my thinking cap.

Luber: Ha! Very good. Alright – you guys’ll learn lots more about being a business litigator from Craig in the full version of this video interview.

Craig will give us a great description of what it’s really like to be a business litigation lawyer – he’ll talk about the work, the lifestyle, working at a prestigious firm with brand name corporate clients, and shares tips for networking and breaking in to this path. This is not the kind of stuff you learn in school!

You’ll want to join the JDCOT membership for access to the full, in-depth career interviews & transcripts that will help you find and land a career that fits you. Check out what people are saying about JDCOT by clicking here.

Thanks again for watching everybody. I’m Marc Luber and I’ll see ya soon.

[theme song]

©2015 Careers Out There

 
When you ponder what to do with a law degree, can you see yourself as a litigator? Do you have what it takes to be a business litigation lawyer? Let us know in the Comments below!

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GET MY FREE SELF-ASSESSMENT!

Thinking of leaving the law? The best first step you can take is a good look in the mirror. START HERE:

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You’ll also get periodic updates, reminders & access to career guidance programs sent to your inbox. We respect your privacy. You can unsubscribe via a click at any time.