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Richard Lavinthal
Managing Director


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Uniquely Experienced Legal Public Relations Consultant
Executed Legal Media Relations For Three Of The Top 10
U.S. Department of Justice Civil Fraud Recoveries In Fiscal 2008

(PHILADELPHIA) ‑ A former journalist, federal and state prosecutors’ spokesman and online news editor set an enviable record recently when the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced the top 10 civil fraud recoveries for Fiscal 2008.  Richard Lavinthal’s PRforLAW, LLC, a unique niche legal public relations consultancy, had crafted and executed legal media relations strategy for attorneys with three of the top 10 cases.

When the DOJ trumpeted $1.34 billion in FY2008 civil fraud settlements and judgments nearly half the total dollars recovered for federal and state taxpayers were from three separate cases in which PRforLAW developed and executed media relations strategy.  Six attorneys in five firms whose whistleblower clients helped recover more than $656 million had retained PRforLAW for case-specific legal media relations.

A legal public and media relations consultancy serving attorneys coast to coast, PRforLAW leverages Lavinthal’s unique background to develop integrated media strategies for important civil, criminal, or regulatory cases for plaintiff or defense.  Matters not-yet-public or under investigation are a specialty. 

The top two settlements In the DOJ news release for FY 2008 were the $361.5 million Merck & Company, and $428 million Cephalon Inc. cases.  The $21.1 million federal and $15.6 million state CVS settlement was the tenth case to appear on the list.  PRforLAW handled legal media relations in all three cases.

Lavinthal worked with qui tam whistleblower attorneys from law firms in California, Wisconsin and Illinois who represented a plaintiff in the Merck case; a Philadelphia law firm which represented the first relator to file a Complaint in the Cephalon case, and a Chicago law firm that represented the CVS relator

Lavinthal is a former U.S. Department of Justice Public Affairs Specialist who created and then managed, for a decade, the U.S. Attorney’s press office in the District of New Jersey, serving as spokesman for the Hon. Samuel A. Alito, Jr., the Hon. Michael Chertoff and the Hon. Faith S. Hochberg when each was U.S. Attorney in the Garden State.  He also handled local media relations assignments from the Office of Public Affairs in Washington for Attorneys General Thornburgh, Barr and Reno.

After Lavinthal left the DOJ he became the first Director of Communications for the New Jersey (State) Division of Criminal Justice, then Director of Criminal Justice Programs and Communities for APBnews in New York City and later consulting editor and news director for PoliceOne.  Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Justice he had been a New Jersey Statehouse-based international wire service and metro daily newspaper reporter.

For co-counsel in Chicago, Southern California and Wisconsin in the Merck settlement, Lavinthal developed an integrated media relations strategy that included extensive collateral, split-second media outreach and a unique litigation reference Web site. 

Today, nearly ten months after the settlement, www.drugfraudsettlement.com continues to receive more than 2,000 visitors a month.  In the $36.7 million CVS case Lavinthal worked with a Chicago law firm to develop collateral and another litigation Web site for the CVS and other pharmacy fraud settlements, www.pharmacyfraudsettlement.com.

At the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the 90’s Lavinthal developed the first breaking news Web site of its kind, one of several leading-edge innovations he brought to the DOJ.  Today PRforLAW also creates law firm and litigation Web sites, and rewrites existing sites to achieve higher search engine rankings. 

Lavinthal says his invaluable experience as a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice in New Jersey and later the New Jersey (State) Division of Criminal Justice, along with earlier news reporting enabled  him to acquire as good an understanding of civil and criminal practice as any non-attorney.

At the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey Lavinthal managed public affairs for the first World Trade Center bombing, the Unabomber in New Jersey and hundreds of other sensitive criminal and civil matters.  Today, at PRforLAW he continues an unblemished record of absolute confidentiality, one of the reasons why attorneys rely on him for legal media relations.  Developing effective media relations strategy is an intensive process that must be completed and ready to execute the instant an indictment, complaint, settlement, verdict, or regulatory decision becomes public.

Attorneys can call Lavinthal at 215-736-0198 for a brief, confidential, and frank no-charge assessment of the media potentials or pitfalls of a case, or visit www.lavinthal.com and www.PRforLAW.com for more information.

“News presence has an imprimatur of legitimacy, influence and authentication that advertising never can match,” Lavinthal said.

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DOJ News Release: www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2008/November/08-civ-992.html

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