The goal of the Commercial Litigation Diversity Subcommittee is to diversify Committee membership and offer leadership and networking opportunities to women and lawyers of color. The Diversity Subcommittee is open to all Commercial Litigation members who share the goal of diversifying DRI membership and leadership. The Subcommittee meets telephonically on the last Wednesday of every month at 4:00 PM Eastern time
The Membership Subcommittee works on getting new DRI members involved in the Committee and also works hard to recruit new members to DRI and the Committee. We reach out to all new members who join the Committee, all Committee members who have dropped their membership. The subcommittee Chair contacts each new member and invites them to get involved in the Committee. Anyone expressing an interest in joining a subcommittee or SLG receives a followup e-mail and/or telephone call to facilitate involvement.
The Mentoring Committee is designed to afford junior members of the CLC (e.g. those practicing 0-10 years) opportunities to meet one another and also to network with senior lawyers (e.g. 10+ years) and begin to build valuable relationships for the future. The Mentoring Committee also assists junior lawyers with opportunities to learn important “tricks of the trade” from senior lawyers regarding business development, networking, case management, trial advocacy skills, commercial litigation basics and other important skills that all junior lawyers should develop.
The Networking Subcommittee has two main two goals. First, enhancing ways for CLC members to interact and form personal and professional networks so that, in addition to improving our overall, DRI experience. Second, this subcommittee strives for allowing for greater referral opportunities among DRI/CLC members (and their clients) across the country. While neither of these goals is by any means new for DRI or the CLC, the Networking Subcommittee hopes to be a clearinghouse for fresh, practical ideas on generating referral relationships and marketing CLC members’ practices. We also hope to learn from what has (and hasn’t) worked in the past, both at DRI and similar organizations. Examples of what the Subcommittee hopes to accomplish include making CLC cocktail receptions and dinners more “interactive,” sharing networking tips through the Business Suit, improving ways for new CLC members to meet current members, and leveraging members’ use of LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media
Program Planning/Marketing Subcommittee
This subcommittee puts together the annual Business Litigation and IP Seminars, which occur each spring. This subcommittee works on speaker selection, topic selection, venue, organization of social events, solicitation of sponsorship dollars and more. To market the Seminar(s), this subcommittee relies on the entire CLC and virtually every Subcommittee Chair, Vice Chair and their members to spread the word about the program(s). This group begins planning the seminar in May/June each year, just weeks after the Seminar from the previous year. Speakers, topics and an initial program outline are due to DRI nine months in advance, so we have the program almost complete before the Annual Meeting each year, but continue to handle logistics and coordinate the efforts of the other Subcommittee related to the Seminar all the way up until the Seminar begins. The marketing role of this subcommittee fills the biggest part of the winter and early spring each year. This is a hardworking and fun group and it is always looking for new members.
The Publications Subcommittee provides an opportunity for members to publish articles in a national forum on topics affecting the practice of both commercial litigation and IP. These articles range from substantive areas of law to tactics and techniques and more. Articles can be featured in DRI’s e-newsletter, The Voice and also in For the Defense, DRI’s monthly magazine. Authors are also needed from time to time for chapters in DRI’s Defense Library Series publications. This subcommittee also works on publication of The Business Suit, the Committee’s electronic newsletter.
This Subcommittee is charged with keeping our committee page on the DRI website up-to-date with valuable information for our members. This subcommittee also develops and hosts webcast presentations geared toward topics of interest to our members. We hope to host at least one webcast a year. This subcommittee runs programs from beginning to end, selecting topics, speakers, and assisting with promotion and marketing. This committee also works with the publications subcommittee to make regular posts to the DRI blog.
Specialized Litigation Group (SLG) Descriptions Descriptions:
Antitrust, Consumer Protection & Distribution
The Antitrust, Consumer Protection and Distribution SLG is a new SLG, created by combining the former Antitrust and Dealer & Franchise SLGs. The SLG welcomes all DRI Commercial Litigation Committee members with an interest in antitrust, consumer protection and/or distribution issues, whether or not such areas constitute a significant portion of a member’s practice. The SLG’s main goals are to provide a forum for the exchange of information on these subjects for DRI members and to provide an opportunity for networking with other DRI members who share similar interests.
The SLG has quarterly conference calls that include both an “SLG business” component and a substantive legal presentation. Specifically, each call includes a brief presentation from an SLG member on the “5 most significant developments” in the antitrust/consumer protection/distribution area over the last 3 months, all in five minutes or less, as well as a slightly more in-depth presentation (approximately 10 minutes) about a particularly significant case or other legal development of interest to the membership. In addition, the SLG contributes articles to The Business Suit on issues relevant to the SLG’s area of focus and presents programs at both the Commercial Litigation Committee program in May and the Annual Meeting in October.
Business Torts and Contract Litigation
The Business Torts and Contract Litigation SLG is the largest specialized law group of DRI’s Commercial Litigation Committee, with over 500 members across the country who handle wide-range of commercial litigation matters. Our members generally focus on litigated matters involving unfair competition, breaches of fiduciary duty, trade secrets, non-competition agreements, shareholder derivative claims, business defamation and contract disputes.
The Business Torts and Contract Litigation SLG is very active. We hold Bi-Monthly conference calls for all members where we hear timely presentations on Business Torts and Contract Litigation topics, but also practical presentations on business development, as well as the importance of Pro Bono and Diversity and Inclusion. Our members actively network with each other, and are frequent contributors to DRI’s publications and regularly lecture at both our Annual Business Litigation Seminar and DRI’s Annual Meeting.
The Class Actions SLG seeks to create a forum for class action lawyers who practice predominantly on the defense side to exchange ideas, keep each other abreast of significant developments in the law or the practice, find ways to weigh in on class action reform efforts at the state and federal level, and develop speaking and publication opportunities at DRI events. We have bi-monthly group calls on the third Thursday of even numbered months, usually featuring one or more presentations by SLG members on topics of interest to the class action practitioner. In 2018, we plan to explore additional ideas for member networking, explore developing an organized outlet for re-posting blogs from SLG members' firms, and explore other ways the SLG can more effectively assist its members and showcase their talents. If you defend class actions as part of your practice, please consider joining the Class Actions SLG.
Financial Services Litigation
This SLG focuses on commercial litigation related to financial institutions, which continues to develop and grow in the wake of the Dodd- Frank Act and increased regulation and scrutiny of the consumer finance industry. Consumer financial services matters arise in the context of single and multi-plaintiff actions, as well as enforcement activities by federal and state regulators and attorneys general. Such disputes commonly involve allegations related to loan originations, mortgage servicing, credit reporting, debt collection, loan terms, and disparate treatment by lenders. Our members also include creditors’ rights attorneys who assist institutions with collecting debts, as well as bankruptcy lawyers who litigate within adversary proceedings or objections to discharge. This SLG has worked on a compendium of federal consumer protection laws, and its members have provided substantive content to DRI publications. This SLG seeks to grow and expand its membership, as DRI historically has not had a specialized group for attorneys who focus on consumer finance, creditors’ rights, and bankruptcy matters. The SLG has provided regular content to The Community and The Business Suit, sponsored lunches at recent CLC seminars, and coordinated conference calls for members on a periodic basis.
Pretrial Practice and Procedure
The Pretrial Practice and Procedure SLG is a new SLG looking to benefit all members of the Commercial Litigation Committee. The SLG will kick off its inaugural year with quarterly conference calls that offer substantive information as well as an opportunity to expand its members’ networks. The SLG’s objective is to serve as a resource for all DRI members to obtain updates regarding developments in pretrial practice and procedure, and to provide a forum for the presentation and discussion of pretrial practice and procedure topics including, but not limited to pretrial case management, electronic discovery, protective orders, spoliation of evidence, and trial tactics. Each SLG meeting will offer a brief focus on one or two interesting topics regarding pretrial practice or procedure. As a new SLG, we are eager to expand our ranks and get up and running. We welcome all members of DRI from young lawyers to seasoned practitioners and hope to offer something for everyone.