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.
The Class Actions SLG invites anyone whose practice involves class action issues to join this SLG. The Class Actions SLG has approximately 150 members and we hold bi-monthly conference calls throughout the year. Each call features a substantive presentation on a class action topic. In addition, each call includes self-introductions by one to two SLG members to facilitate networking opportunities.
Business Torts and Contract Litigation
The newly-constituted Complex Commercial Litigation SLG combines the membership of the former Business Torts, D&O and E&O, and Contracts SLGs. The new SLG now more fully reflects the practices of complex commercial litigators, and we expect that diverse talent base to provide even better educational and networking opportunities this year. The SLG conducts calls with our membership every other month. Those calls contain both an educational component (a short presentation on a timely issue of note) and a networking component (three to four introductory “elevator speeches” from our members). Last, but by no means least, there are always publication opportunities for interested SLG members.
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.