Why it is hard to sue big companies and win?
There are companies that spend a lot of money on attorneys. When this is the case, the practice is often used to help reduce the likelihood of successful litigation against the organization.
It is a safe guess that some of the money spent on legal fees is being spent on specialized services, where there are a relatively small number of attorneys who can handle the work competently. This means that all the rest is work that could be handled by virtually any competent attorney with little risk to your organization.
Some corporations identify those law firms and individual lawyers competent enough to cause them problems if they were to be sued, and well- funded enough to be able to handle a case on contingency. And then put them on retainer to handle something. Actually, to handle anything!
Let us assume that an organization spends something in the neighborhood of $100 million each year on attorneys, and that more or less half their legal expense goes to one or more principal firms. This leaves $50 million they can dole out in $10,000 chunks to other firms. Five thousand of them, to be exact.
The downside to this practice would be that they have to add an extra staff member or two to co-ordinate what is being done.
The upside is that an additional 5,000 firms have been removed as possible opposing counsel because of potential conflict of interest issues. This greatly reduces the likelihood of a litigant finding competent counsel, and thus decreases the likelihood of a successful suit against them.
Is it possible to sue a large company and win? Sure. This editor remembers that when he was a youngster someone took New York Bell to small claims court, which forced the rewiring of a central office. And anyone who has seen Erin Brockovich knows the power of a class action suit.