2009 Summit

Calling the next few years a transformational time that could define the future of our civil justice system, speakers at the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform’s (ILR) 10th Annual Legal Reform Summit urged U.S. decision makers to consider the costs of expanding liability for job creators during the economic recovery.

 The event featured a legislative keynote address by U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and a keynote luncheon address by Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida.  In addition, Tom Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, provided special remarks.

Throughout the day, ILR unveiled a number of new research pieces to help influence the legal reform debate including:

The Summit also featured distinguished panelists exploring a variety of timely legal topics, including:

  • Courting New Money: Third Party Financing of Litigation and its Consequences. Should Outside Investors Have a Stake?Academics released new research and discussed and debated the growing trend of third parties financing lawsuits.
  • Climate Change: The New Mass Tort for the 21st Century? Panelists spoke to the legal theories and trends in climate change litigation as well as regulatory and legislative developments and their impact on the business community.
  • Judicial Selection: Defining Best Practices in Nominating States. ILR released a "best practices" guide to judicial selection in nomination states.
  • It's Economics Stupid: Exploring the Relationship Between Lawsuits and Rising Healthcare Costs. Jeb Bush facilitated a panel discussion on the economic impact of lawsuits on the practice of medicine and rising healthcare costs.
  • Trial Lawyer Crystal Ball: Predictions and Prognostications on the Road Ahead. We hosted a discussion on the trial bar's priorities.

In addition, the Chamber honored those working to improve America’s litigation environment with the ILR Legal Reform Awards. The 2009 recipients included Sen. Jeff Sessions for legislative achievement, former Supreme Court of Arizona Chief Justice Ruth V. McGregor for judicial achievement, the State Chamber of Oklahoma for state leadership, and the Searle Civil Justice Institute at Northwestern University School of Law for outstanding research.

SUMMIT AGENDA

The following agenda is final.

7:45 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Welcoming Remarks 
  • Lisa A. Rickard, President, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform
8:30 a.m. – 8:55 a.m. Legislative Keynote
  • U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee

Introduced by: Lisa A. Rickard, President, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform

8:55 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Legal Reform Award PresentationLegislative Achievement Award
  • U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee

Presented by: Lisa A. Rickard, President, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Courting New Money: Third Party Financing of Litigation and Its Consequences. Should Outside Investors Have a Stake?
  • John Beisner, Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
  • Stephen B. Presser, Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Jonathan T. Molot, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Paul H. Rubin, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Economics and Professor of Law and Economics, Emory University

Introduced and moderated by: Geoffrey J. Lysaught, Senior Director, Policy, Research, and Communications and Chief of Staff, Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth, Northwestern University School of Law

10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Networking Break
10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Climate Change: The New Mass Tort for the 21st Century?
  • Richard Faulk, Partner, Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP
  • Donald G. Gifford, Edward M. Robertson Professor of Law, University of Maryland School of Law

Introduced and moderated by: Paul E. Gutermann, Partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Judicial Selection: Defining Best Practices in Nominating States
  • Introductory Remarks by the Honorable Ruth V. McGregor, Chief Justice, Arizona Supreme Court (Ret.)
  • Leonard A. Leo, Executive Vice President, The Federalist Society
  • Bert Brandenburg, Executive Director, Justice at Stake

Moderated by: Thomas A. Gottschalk, Of Counsel, Kirkland & Ellis, LLP

12:00 p.m. – 12:15 p.m. Transition Break
12:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Annual Legal Reform Awards LuncheonSpecial Remarks
  • Thomas J. Donohue, President and Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Keynote Address

  • The Honorable Jeb Bush, Former Governor, State of Florida

2009 Legal Reform Awards

State Leadership Award

  • The State Chamber of Oklahoma

Judicial Achievement Award

  • The Honorable Ruth V. McGregor, Chief Justice, Arizona Supreme Court (Ret.)

Research Award

  • The Searle Civil Justice Institute at Northwestern University School of Law

Presented by: Lisa A. Rickard, President, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform

1:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Transition Break
2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. It’s Economics Stupid: Exploring the Relationship Between Lawsuits and Rising Healthcare Costs
  • Daniel P. Kessler, David S. and Ann M. Barlow Professor in Management, Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Philip K. Howard, Chair, Common Good, Vice Chair, Covington & Burling LLP

Introduced and moderated by: The Honorable Jeb Bush, Former Governor, State of Florida

2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Trial Lawyer Crystal Ball:  Predictions and Prognostications on the Road Ahead
  • Dana Perino, Chief Issues Counselor, Burson-Marsteller
  • Michael Kinsley, Editor-in-Chief of forthcoming Atlantic Media website, Columnist, Atlantic Monthly

Introduced and moderated by: Catherine "Kiki" McLean, Global Head, Public Affairs, Porter-Novelli

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Networking Reception & Giveaway

 

EVENT SPONSORS

ILR thanks the sponsors of the 2009 Legal Reform Summit: