IN THE July 2002 issue of Defense Counsel Journal (page 273), Lee Bennett raised some very important issues facing the defense bar. His article cited the gains the Association of Trial Lawyers of America has made through effective coordination, communication and strategy, and he called on the defense community to find ways to counter the organization's significant influence in civil litigation.
Among his recommendations were to develop alliances and to repair the insurance company-defense counsel relationship. In addition to building bridges to the insurance industry, defense counsel also must seek to strengthen and expand its alliances with corporate counsel. It is only by working together collectively that we can provide the necessary counterweight to ATLA.
The world's corporations are besieged with more and more legal challenges. New strategies and tactics are being tested in various venues to see which bear the most fruit. The recent accounting scandals have furthered eroded public confidence in the business community, negatively coloring potential juror perceptions on corporate behavior. And the media and government regulators have been willing accomplices in advancing the plaintiff bar's agenda.
IADC's membership has taken initiatives to build those alliances necessary to meet the challenges ATLA and its supporters present. The IADC Corporate Counsel College is the place where relationships are built and critical issues are addressed. Formed four years ago and held each spring, the college has become a unique forum where in-house lawyers can discuss issues of mutual concern, especially in the dangerous modern world of litigation, and join with their outside defense counsel to craft solutions to these perplexing problems through a dynamic interactive workshop. …