LCJ's December 3 And 4 Membership Meeting Corporate Counsel, Defense Counsel And Associate Members Meet To Support Civil Justice Reform

Monday, November 2, 2009 - 01:00

Barry Bauman

Executive Director

Lawyers For Civil Justice

Planning is well underway for the Lawyers for Civil Justice December 3 and 4 membership meeting in New York City.The two day meeting will bring together a broad array of " Fortune 500" companies along with the LCJ network of law firms that are committed to pursuing the LCJ civil justice reform legislative and rule making agenda.

Well over 100 senior corporate counsel and defense bar leaders are anticipated to attend the meeting which will be led by LCJ President Lewis Collins.There will be opportunities for committee meetings on several issues which are at the heart of the LCJ program as well as unique networking opportunities.Committee meetings will focus on discussion of Protective Orders legislation and in-depth discussions of the FRCP Rewrite / Procedural Rules Initiative and e-discovery.

One of the meeting panels entitled "Developing a Consensus on Procedural Rule Reform" brings into focus LCJ's long-standing work to present the results of LCJ's survey designed to identify the burdens and expenses associated with e-discovery.These findings will be presented at a 2010 Litigation Review Conference at Duke Law School in May of 2010 sponsored by the Federal Judicial Conference, and this event may turn out to be one of the most important events on civil procedure rules in quite some time.

Therefore, LCJ is renewing its efforts to reach out to very large companies with e-discovery experience and gather confidential case-level data on their costs of production, breaking out expenditures from initial identification through collection, processing, and review.This sort of work presents interesting challenges, not the least of which arises from the demands placed on the participating companies to go back through their records and at least roughly estimate what was spent during the various phases of production in a handful of actual cases. These are not exactly the sexiest issues in this particular policy world but certainly ones that need to be answered, at least in a rough brush-stroke way in order to provide context to those crafting rules and guidance for judges in the future.

One of the key speakers at the LCJ conference will be Honorable Mark Kravitz, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules to the Federal Judicial Conference, who will address the ongoing initiative to rewrite the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.His committee has primary responsibility for proposing changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Evidence.State Farm General Counsel Jeffrey Jackson and Shell Oil Group Litigation Counsel Carla Herron will provide comments on the current proposals.

Other key corporate participants at the December LCJ meeting will include Tim Pratt, General Counsel of Boston Scientific, and Marla Persky, General Counsel of Boehringer Ingelheim, and Silvio DeCarli, Associate General Counsel and Chief Litigation Counsel of Dupont.Fox News Analyst Mercedes Colwin will provide an overview of the "Impact of the Media on Legal Reform."

Each of LCJ's supporting defense organization presidents will be among the program's participants.In addition to hearing the corporate perspective on these issues, LCJ's Associate Members from South Carolina, Gray Culbreath and Edward Laney will have an opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness of the South Carolina defense bar in supporting state civil justice reform initiatives.

LCJ is comprised of in-house corporate and a limited number of associate member law firms who join yearly by invitation. This is one of two scheduled conferences which LCJ holds yearly with the next one being in Washington, DC on May 3 and 4 of 2010.If you would like more information on applying for membership in LCJ, please contact me at bbauman@lfcj.com or the LCJ office at 202/429-0045.