Academic journal article Defense Counsel Journal

Presdient's Page: Working for Balance

Academic journal article Defense Counsel Journal

Presdient's Page: Working for Balance

Article excerpt

ATTAINING balance and fairness in the civil justice systems of the nations in which it has members is a primary goal of the International Association of Defense Counsel. In no country is that more important than the United States, where an advanced industrial and now post-industrial society has struggled to balance diverging interests--often through litigation.

It has become increasingly apparent in the United States that defense counsel must join with other forces to maintain and in some instances to return to civil justice norms and litigation processes that assure that balance and fairness. Several years ago, the IADC took the lead in forming a coalition of defense trial lawyer organizations and corporations devoted to the goal of seeking to restore and maintain balance in the civil justice system for the benefit of the public.

That coalition now has matured into Lawyers for Civil Justice. And indeed the IADC has maintained close liaison with LCJ, whose current president is Kevin J. Dunne, a former IADC president.

The 10-point program

Meeting in New York City last fall, LCJ adopted a 10-point program to advance its objectives. The points:

1. Enlist a broader network of defense bar volunteers into LCJ legislative campaigns.

2. Establish a "rapid response team" of defense lawyers to support legislative and judicial initiatives.

3. Support the class action removal legislation in the 106th Congress (H.R. 1875) as one aspect of an over-all class action reform package.

4. Amass more anecdotal data to support pending legislative initiatives. A database known as CACHE is now under construction.

5. Support the pending expert evidentiary and discovery reform proposals to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Evidence by providing the Judicial Conference, the U.S. Supreme Court and the Congress with appropriate input as these proposals move forward.

6. Provide stronger support for merit selection systems of selecting qualified judges.

7. Explore the establishment of an LCJ or defense-oriented political action committee (PAC) for the disbursement of funds to candidates who share our basic philosophy on civil justice reform. …

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