DRI Online Communities

Posted on May 22, 2014 02:28 by Admin

On May 21, DRI rolled out the new committee online communities.  The new communities will enhance DRI’s web presence and will allow committee members to connect with each other and share information more easily.  Each community will have a discussion list, which will replace the current list serve, as well as a document library, blog, and calendar.  Committees will also be able to post announcements about their seminars and publications, and promote open positions and volunteer opportunities.  All posts are sent to members as a daily digest from the communities, unless a member changes his or her settings to real-time delivery.   The communities are designed to be the hub for all committee activity. 

There are six substantive law committees serving as the pilot group: Commercial Litigation, Employment and Labor Law, Product Liability, Women in the Law, Workers’ Compensation, and Young Lawyers.  Additional committee communities will go live over the course of the year.

Members can access the communities through the DRI website, www.dri.org  (there is a new link in the top blue navigation bar).  Committee members are automatically members of the respective community and are being notified via email. Members should call (312) 695-6221 if they are having trouble logging in to the site.


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Thank You

Posted on December 31, 2013 03:43 by Admin

To the bloggers and readers of DRI Today:

DRI would like to use this opportunity to thank you for your commitment, once again, to the DRI Today blog. Throughout the course of the year this blog has received multiple entries as well as several new bloggers, representing nearly every substantive law committee and practice area, and for that, we say THANK YOU. 

Your efforts have provided quality content and food for thought for your fellow DRI members and throughout the legal community. We would also like to thank our officers, board of directors and committee leaders, as well as their companies and firms, for their hard work throughout this past year. We appreciate your support and engagement within the DRI community. We look forward to working with all of you in 2014. 

Please continue to submit your entries to the DRI Today blog, as well as our sister blog, DRI Happenings. Look for new blog content beginning on Thursday, January 2, 2014.

Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year. 

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DRI and The National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals announced today that they are joining forces to provide you with access to the biographies and calendars of NADN members across more than 45 states.

All DRI members will now have immediate access to NADN's live database of more than 800 top-rated, litigator approved neutrals via www.dri.org/neutrals. This new DRI Neutral Database allows defense counsel to search by state, type of civil dispute, ADR practice expertise and other criteria important to defense counsel. Given NADN's rigorous due diligence interview procedures, DRI members are assured that the neutrals resulting from any searches are considered amongst the top ADR practitioners, as rated by both defense and plaintiff's attorneys in any given state. NADN.org's live calendar functionality will also prove useful to DRI members who may wish to confirm which of the top local mediators or arbitrators is available on a preferred date.

"DRI is excited about partnering with the NADN to make the Academy's database of neutrals available to our entire membership," said John R. Kouris, DRI Executive Director. "In addition to serving as a tremendous resource, the database will provide DRI members with great value."

"We're delighted to partner with DRI in providing defense firms with access to detailed biographies of the nation's top mediators and arbitrators," said Darren Lee, Executive Director of NADN. "Since 2008, we've sought the feedback of defense and plaintiff attorneys in many states in order to identify those neutrals that litigators trust to mediate or arbitrate their own cases. This project has allowed us to compile a terrifically useful roster of proven ADR practitioners - from solo practice mediators, to panelists with respected ADR organizations. We look forward to working with DRI in the years to come, providing its members with a reliable roster of the most experienced ADR attorneys."

The DRI neutral database is for members only - another great benefit of DRI membership.  For more information on this benefit and other resources DRI offers to help grow your practice, visit www.dri.org or call our Customer Service Department at 312.795.1101.

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Class Action Deemed to Be Improperly Certified by Lower Courts


CHICAGO – (March 27, 2013) The Supreme Court this morning reversed the judgment of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Comcast v. Behrend, an opinion in alignment with the position of DRI – Voice of the Defense Bar in its amicus brief filed in August of last year. The majority held that the class action in Comcast v. Behrend was improperly certified under Rule 23(b)(3). 

In this case, subscribers sued Comcast Corp. and various Comcast subsidiaries, alleging that Comcast monopolized Philadelphia’s cable market and excluded competition in violation of federal antitrust laws. To constitute a class, plaintiffs proffered an expert damages model that purported to prove each class member’s damages by evidence common to all. Comcast responded that the plaintiffs’ model was incapable of calculating damages for the class because it was based on several erroneous assumptions about the asserted claims, and indeed that common proof of damages is impossible given significant differences among the class members. The district court nonetheless certified the class.

Comcast sought review in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed the certification order after expressly declining to consider Comcast’s contentions. While the Third Circuit acknowledged that, “[t]o satisfy . . . the predominance requirement, Plaintiffs must establish that the alleged damages are capable of measurement on a class-wide basis using common proof,” it nonetheless insisted that “[w]e have not reached the stage of determining on the merits whether the methodology [offered by Plaintiffs] is a just and reasonable inference or speculative.” The court concluded that Comcast’s “attacks on the merits of the methodology” have “no place in the class certification inquiry.” 

In his dissent, Judge Jordan stated in part, “not only have Plaintiffs failed to show that damages can be proven using evidence common to the class, they have failed to show . . . that damages can be proven using any evidence whatsoever—common or otherwise.” 

The Supreme Court held that the Third Circuit erred in refusing to decide whether the plaintiff class’s proposed damages model could show damages on a class-wide basis. Under proper standards, the model was inadequate and the class should not have been certified. The vote was 5–4 with Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan dissenting.

Citing the Federal Judicial Center’s Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence, the majority held that “’The first step in a damages study is the translation of the legal theory of the harmful event into an analysis of the economic impact of that event.’ The District Court and the Court of Appeals ignored that first step entirely.”

The Third Circuit’s approach to class certification would have allowed plaintiffs to obtain certification without showing a reasonable likelihood that they will be able to prove their class-wide claims (predominately) by common evidence. This would have significantly lowered class plaintiffs’ burden under Rule 23 and resulted in the certification of many more non-meritorious class actions.
Brief author Jonathan F. Cohn of Sidley Austin LLP, Washington DC, is available for interview or for expert comment through DRI’s Communications Office.
For the full text of the brief, click here.

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... And That's A Wrap!

Posted on December 21, 2012 04:56 by Admin

As 2012 comes to a close, DRI would like to take the opportunity to thank all of our bloggers and readers from this past year. 

Postings on the DRI Blog were provided by DRI members representing nearly every substantive law committee and practice area. Your efforts have provided quality content and food for thought for your fellow DRI members and throughout the legal community.  

We would also like to thank our officers, board of directors and committee leaders, as well as their companies and firms, for their hard work throughout this past year. We appreciate your support and engagement within the DRI community. We look forward to working with all of you in 2013!

Look for new content on the DRI Blog beginning on Wednesday, January 2, 2013.

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Categories: DRI Committees

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The deadline for DRI’s annual Law Student Diversity Scholarship, open to incoming second- and third-year African American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American students, is Friday, April 27. Please remind your students to send in their applications for review by this date. This is a fantastic opportunity! Two scholarships in the amount of $10,000 each will be awarded to applicants who best meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated academic excellence
  • Service to the profession
  • Service to the community
  • Service to the cause of diversity

Visit the DRI website for full details on eligibility and to download the scholarship application.

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Categories: Diversity | DRI Committees | Law School

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Volunteering for the Troops!

Posted on February 15, 2012 06:37 by Admin

DRI would like to recognize and thank the over 30 attendees of this month’s Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Seminar, who volunteered their time to prepare packages to send to U.S. troops and their children.  In conjunction with Operation Gratitude, attendees stuffed 300 teddy bears to give to the children of deployed soldiers and prepared hundreds of gift bags to be sent to troops in Afghanistan, sailors and marines stationed on Navy ships, and to Wounded Warrior Transition Units throughout the United States.  

In addition, several DRI member firms sponsored "Jeans Days", which raised over $9,000 for Operation Gratitude. 
Participating firms included:

Akerman Senterfitt LLP
Bowles Rice McDavid Graff & Love LLP
Fontainebleau Miami Beach
Greenberg Traurig LLP
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Thompson Hine LLP
Tucker Ellis & West LLP
Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP
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Categories: Community Service | Seminar | Toxic Tort

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DRI announces its annual Law Student Diversity Scholarship program, open to incoming second- and third-year African American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American students. The goal of these scholarships is to provide financial assistance to two worthy law students from ABA accredited law schools in order to promote, in a tangible way, the DRI Diversity Statement of Principle. Incoming second- and third-year female law students are also eligible, regardless of race or ethnicity. Incoming second- and third-year law students who also come from backgrounds that would add to the cause of diversity, regardless of race or gender are eligible to apply. To qualify for this scholarship, candidates must be full-time students. Evening students also qualify for consideration if they have completed one-third or more of the total credit hours required for a degree by the applicant’s law school. Two scholarships in the amount of $10,000 each will be awarded to applicants who best meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated academic excellence
  • Service to the profession
  • Service to the community
  • Service to the cause of diversity

Visit the DRI website for full details on eligibility and to download the scholarship application

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Categories: Defense Practice | Diversity | Law School

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DRI Thanks Our Bloggers and Readers

Posted on December 19, 2011 01:46 by Admin

During this holiday season, DRI would like to take the opportunity to thank all of our bloggers and readers for 2011.

Postings on the DRI Blog were provided by DRI members representing nearly every substantive law committee and practice area! Your efforts have provided quality content and food for thought for your fellow DRI members and the legal community.  

We would also like to thank our officers, board of directors and committee leaders, as well as their companies and firms. The time and effort you sacrifice on behalf of DRI are greatly appreciated.  We look forward to working with all of you in the coming year!

Look for new content on the DRI Blog beginning on January 3, 2012.

Thanks again to all of you and we wish you a safe and happy holiday season and a prosperous New Year!

 

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Are you concerned that the conferences you attend do not provide a return on your investment? What if I told you that the DRI Business Litigation and IP Seminar features in-house counsel from five different nationally recognized companies speaking on topics that are timely and important to your practice? What if I told you that I personally have received new work for new clients from people I have met at DRI seminars? I have. What if I told you that I was likely to get repeat business from those new clients and future referrals from the colleagues I have met through DRI? I think I will. The DRI Business Litigation and IP Seminar is where your clients and your colleagues will be. Shouldn't you be there as well? Of course you should! But time is running out so register today! The early registration deadline is March 26. If you want your CD of materials before the seminar you have to be registered by March 26. You can register by calling DRI at (312) 795-1101 or register on line at www.DRI.org. In addition, the hotel block closes today, March 23. So call the Hilton New York directly today to get into the block at (212) 586-7000.

This seminar provides over 12 hours of CLE credit (along with 1 hour of ethics credit) and also offers special IP and Commercial Litigation break-out tracks allowing attendees to focus on the topics most germane to their practice. There will also be meetings of many different Specialized Litigation Groups (“SLG’s”) during the seminar offering you the opportunity to get more actively involved and the full Commercial Litigation Committee will have a business meeting as well. In addition, great networking and social events have been planned and some tickets are still available! We have a group going to the NY Institute for Culinary Education for a cooking class and dinner, a group going to see a Yankees game and a group going to see Joe Bonamassa live in concert! In addition, there will be several great dine-around options as well. Please contact Laurie Miller at laurie.miller@elliswinters.com or (919) 865-7001 for more information about these events and to see if tickets are still available. We are all going to have a great time… and maybe pick up some new business along the way too!

The brochure for this outstanding seminar is attached. Take a look. You'll want to join us.

10CommLit_final_full size (2).pdf (392.17 kb)

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Categories: Business Litigation | Seminar

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