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GDPR: It’s Coming, It’s Expensive, and It’s a Serious Problem for American Businesses

  • Published February 26, 2018
    Modified July 09, 2020


DRI Guide Provides Free Help in Addressing Requirements of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation


CHICAGO ­– (January 28, 2018)— Warning that there is little time to prepare for the May 25th deadline, DRI–The Voice of the Defense Bar, is publishing a guide to the hefty requirements of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and how to meet them. The publication was produced by DRI’s Center for Law and Public Policy.

Titled “What Is GDPR? If You And Your Clients Are Still Asking That On May 25, 2018, You May Have a Serious Problem” the guide explains the long reach of the regulation (it’s global), the serious and expensive preparation required for it, and the hefty financial penalties (up to 20 million Euros) for non-compliance.

The regulation applies to anyone who offers goods and services in the EU, or gathers, processes, stores, or uses data on EU citizens. “To show how extensive the reach of the GDPR is,” says DRI President John Kuppens, “consider the following example. Let’s say a “mom and pop” bookstore in Ohio sells a single book to a customer in France. By virtue of collecting payment information, the bookstore is now required to abide by the extensive and onerous requirements of the GDPR. I have to say that I’ve never seen anything like it.”

While the guide was produced for DRI’s 22,000 defense attorney members, as a public service, DRI is making it available free to the public on DRI’s web site at As a practical tool, the publication includes a 3½ page checklist for users. “Just considering that the checklist is three and a half pages long with close to 50 steps to be accomplished, ought to tell American businesses, including law firms, that they need to seriously dig in to meet the May 25th deadline,” says DRI Executive Director John R. Kouris. “I say that from experience because we here at DRI are also subject to the GDPR because we have European members.”

The guide states that the GDPR applies to entities whether they have three employees or 300,000. An Irish official has warned that affected entities “whether they are big or small, public or private, the consequences for non-compliance will be significant.”

The guide in its entirety may be found here.  Its co-authors are DRI members Susan Gunter (Canada), Laura Fey (United States), Judy Krieg (United Kingdom), Winston Maxwell (France), John Magee (Ireland), and Tobias Schelinski (Germany). All are available for comment through Center Director Tim Kolly using the contact information above. 

Don’t miss this live educational opportunity!

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) takes effect on May 25, 2018. In addition to their own compliance, corporations with employees or customers in the EU must take steps to help ensure that any vendors they permit to access EU personal data are compliant.

Join three esteemed experts on GDPR at DRI’s next live program: What is the GDPR?: How the European Union’s New General Data Protection Regulation Affects You and Your Clients. Click here to Register for the Webinar The program features Laura Clark Fey, John Magee and Tobias Schelinski, who will share key insights for GDPR compliance and data protection principles.


About DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar

For more than fifty-five years, DRI has been the voice of the defense bar, advocating for 22,000 defense attorneys, commercial trial attorneys, and corporate counsel and defending the integrity of the civil judiciary. A thought leader, DRI provides world-class legal education, deep expertise for policy-makers, legal resources, and networking opportunities to facilitate career and law firm growth. For more information, log on to