Jessica M. Karmasek Feb. 6, 2013, 3:16pm

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) -- A Washington D.C.-based law firm says in-house legal departments will face "growing challenges" from trade secret thieves and energized government regulators, among other litigation trends this year.

International law firm Crowell & Moring LLP, which is headquartered in Washington D.C. and has offices in Irvine, New York City, Los Angeles, Anchorage, San Francisco, London and Brussels, said the outlook for 2013 also includes challenges from a plaintiff's bar that has learned "valuable lessons" from asbestos and tobacco cases.

The trends are part of the law firm's first-ever report, "Litigation Forecast 2013: What Corporate Counsel Need to Know for the Coming Year."

"More and more corporations ask us for forward-looking information about litigation, not an encyclopedic survey of cases," said Mark Klapow, a partner in Crowell's litigation group in Washington who conceptualized and edited the 24-page report.

"So we identified 10 areas that we think are front and center for every Fortune 500 and most midsize companies. Here's what's happening across industries and practice areas in litigation, and what general counsel need to know to guide their companies and their resources."

Klapow noted that among the hottest areas for litigation are antitrust, white-collar crime enforcement and trade secrets.

Other areas capsulated in the report are labor and employment, e-discovery, government contracts, patents, torts and environment, class actions, and the International Trade Commission.

The firm's report also looks at jurisdictional trends, such as which districts move most quickly from filing to disposition -- the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois is the most efficient -- and which ones are most often reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court -- the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Court in Cincinnati.

To view the complete report, click here.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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