RECORD OF SUCCESS
LCJ members include senior corporate counsel of some of the nation’s leading companies and experienced practitioners from the nationally organized defense bar – DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar, Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, and the International Association of Defense Counsel. By tapping into the resources of the defense bar organizations, and the more than 20,000 legal practitioners that they represent, LCJ provides crucial support for ongoing legislative and procedural rules initiatives.
LCJ’s advocacy has resulted in many significant reforms in the legislative and rulemaking arenas. With this track record as evidence of its effectiveness, LCJ is able to develop support for the “consensus initiatives” that unite our membership. These include the following:
- For more than 20 years, LCJ has been at the forefront of the opposition to anti-protective order legislation in Congress and the states – legislation that would have unnecessarily obliterated corporate defendants’ fundamental privacy and property rights. The most recent example was the defeat of provisions to restrict protective orders in H.R. 5503, the oil-spill related legislation titled Securing Protections for the Injured from Limitations on Liability Act.”
- LCJ engaged directly with federal rule makers to reform Rule 23’s application to mass tort and complex cases by permitting permissive interlocutory appeals of certification decisions and by improving the rule’s provisions on standards and guidelines for class-action settlements.
- LCJ worked closely with the Judicial Conference’s Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure and Advisory Committee on Rules of Evidence to craft and recommend to Congress the new Federal Rule of Evidence 502 to prevent the unwarranted disclosure of information subject to the attorney-client privilege or the work-product doctrine. Congress enacted Rule 502 into law in 2008.
- LCJ initiated and led the successful effort to amend the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to govern discovery of electronically stored information. The amendments, effective December 1, 2006, included two provisions that would not have been adopted without LCJ’s advocacy. Amended Rule 26(b)(2) requires good cause for discovery of electronic information that is not reasonably accessible. New Rule 37(f) provides a safe harbor from court-ordered sanctions for destruction of information as a result of the good-faith, routine operation of a computer system.
- LCJ successfully advocated adoption of significant amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that narrowed the scope of discovery, including limiting attorney-managed discovery and disclosures to information that supports the party’s claims or defenses, and emphasizing proportionality. These amendments were effective December 1, 2000.
- LCJ supported the Advisory Committee on Rules of Evidence in rewriting Rules 701, 702, and 703 governing the admissibility and bases of expert testimony, including incorporating Daubert and Kumho Tire standards. After the revisions were adopted, LCJ turned its focus to enacting improved versions of those reforms in many key states.
- LCJ actively and successfully supported passage of broad-based tort reform legislation in many states, including reform of joint and several liability and punitive damages standards.
- LCJ engaged defense and corporate counsel in nationwide efforts to reduce the burdens and costs associated with intrusive electronic discovery, resulting in more balanced state and federal rules and state laws that improve upon of the federal e-discovery reforms by incorporating a safer safe harbor, cost shifting, enforcement of proportional, two-tiered discovery, and other improvements.
- LCJ mobilized the corporate and defense bar in the successful effort to amend the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to restore the mandatory nature of the grant of summary judgment in Rule 56 and to address issues related to expert reports and communications under Rule 26. The amendments were effective Dec. 1, 2010.
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