A key aspect of Forum Nobis’ accountability & remedies practice is the firm’s relatively unique emphasis on using the local courts where the rights violation occurred, as opposed to other potentially available foreign national forums such as the United States. A related aspect is the firm’s emphasis on collaborating with “local” lawyers and support staff with existing experience with the affected community or the overall context of the dispute.
However, especially in disputes involving multinational corporations—which are able to develop highly sophisticated defense techniques both on account of their wealth and their experience litigating many cases in many jurisdictions—the gap in experience between the ideal local team and a defendant can be extreme and highly prejudicial to a fair resolution of the dispute on the merits. Moreover, the reality of modern litigation, especially in collective actions and/or environmental cases, is that the “technical” expenses of proper litigation management and burden-of-proof requirements can dwarf the purely legal expenses such as lawyer fees.
To address this reality, Forum Nobis’ legal consulting practice works with its project partners to provide technical assistance to local teams on a variety of litigation management and burden-of-proof issues. These can include:
- litigation support including management of discovery obligations, effective and efficient use of discovery materials, electronic document management;
- coordination of expert testimony (and preliminary and rebuttal advice from non-testifying experts) in a range of fields, including environmental science generally, geology, hydrology, biology, anthropology, epidemiology, toxicology, medical specialties, economic analysis, and more;
- coordination of environmental field work, laboratory analysis, data analysis, and logistics services;
- design and implementation of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and Social Impact Assessments (SIAs), as well as assessment of existing EIAs and SIAs;
- investigation and assessment of potentially applicable environmental remediation technologies and methods;
- assistance regarding damages assessments, including valuation and quantification of damages to complex assets such as ecosystem services, biodiversity, traditional knowledge and practices, cultural institution services, life cycle analysis of resources, replacement value of resources, and valuations of intellectual property and profitability, as well as related complex damage categories such as environmental impacts, mental pain and suffering, loss of earning potential, lost opportunities, and more;
- design and implementation of medical monitoring regimes in cases of potential exposure to toxins;
- preliminary factual investigation in anticipation of litigation or other advocacy;
- regulatory, code-of-conduct, supply chain, and other compliance investigations, as well as assessment of existing investigations;
- assistance with fundraising efforts, litigation finance options, and financial resource management;
- assistance with organization and workflow management, campaign management, technology implementation, record-keeping, accounting, and other regulatory compliance;
- communications issues (public relations, media relations, government relations), media creation and publishing strategies, and related technology consulting.