- Who We Are
- What We Do
- News & Events
- Support Us
Public Justice's Speaker Series
Public Justice's monthly speaker series provides members vital information on issues relevant to practicing lawyers today. Webinars will be every second Wednesday of the month at 2 p.m. EST/11 a.m. PST. Each talk will last one hour (45 minute presentation and 15 minute Q&A). Several topics will be approved for CLE accreditation.
This series is for “members only.” If you would like to join Public Justice, visit our membership page.
To register: log in to the site and select the "Members Only Content" link in the drop down menu. Members can also access videos of past webinars.
CLE credit is available for most webinars. See CLE requirements for your state. (CLE from the following states is available through CLE reciprocity: AK, AZ, CA, CO, FL, ME, MO, NJ, NY, OR and WI. Please check your state’s Bar website for more information on reciprocity requirements.)
Questions? Contact: membership [at] publicjustice [dot] net (subject: Speaker%20Series)
Speaker Series Schedule
Defeating Defendants' Efforts to Pick Off Class Representatives: Beating the Rule 68 Offer of Judgment After Genesis
Wednesday, July 9, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. EST/11:00 a.m. PST
With increasing frequency, corporate defendants in class actions are making offers of judgment to the named class representative, and then arguing that the case is moot (even when the plaintiff refuses the offer).
While most courts rejected this tactic prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Genesis case, the law has become increasingly complicated and divided around the nation.
This webinar will explore the principal arguments that plaintiffs can make to defeat corporate efforts to pick off the named class representatives, and will discuss some practice tips that counsel should consider to strengthen their arguments and position against this cynical defense strategy.
Paul Bland, Executive Director, has been a senior attorney at Public Justice since 1997. As Executive Director, Paul manages and leads a staff of nearly 30 attorneys and other staff, guiding the organization’s litigation docket and other advocacy.
How to Navigate Challenges of Social Media as a Litigator
Social media is exploding.
Its use or misuse by potential clients, lawyers and defendants pose a very difficult challenge both of marketing, discovery and ethics.
Spencer Aronfeld is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer in Miami who has practiced for more than 20 years in the areas of personal injury, cruise ship passenger injury claims and mass torts. He has been at the forefront on the use of social media both in and out of the courtroom. He lectures frequently to lawyers and law students on the do’s and don’ts of social media.
During the presentation, Aronfeld will review the basic types of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram as well as how he has successfully used the profiles of defendants, witnesses and jurors in litigation and trial. He will also share his best practices and do’s and don’ts for maintaining and optimizing a lawyer’s presence and profile in social media. (June 11, 2014)
Essential Tools for Cases Against Animal Agriculture
This seminar covers options for bringing cases against Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, slaughterhouses, and/or meat packing plants. The topics covered will be potential legal tools and litigation strategies that will be effective in court as well as empower local communities. The seminar will discuss Right to Farm Laws, citizen suit provisions, common law claims, the pros and cons of bringing federal environmental claims and state common law claims, and potential hurdles outside of litigation, including the public response in press and working with local community groups to encourage support for the litigation. (May 14, 2014)
photo credit: Farm Sanctuary
David Place of Synergy Settlement Services on the topic of ERISA Subrogation (May 1, 2014).
Reporting Fraud and Fighting Retaliation: Whistleblowers Playing Offense and Defense
[Video coming soon]
Federal regulators are relying more and more on whistleblower incentives to encourage individuals to report corporate misconduct. Congress has made this easier by enacting a series of laws that provide stronger protections against retaliation for employees who report such illegal activity, and the SEC has stepped up its efforts to take enforcement action against retaliating employers. This webinar was designed to help members understand more about litigating these cases.
Lawyers David J. Marshall and Robert Vogel represent whistleblowers before the SEC and in qui tam actions in a wide range of industries. They discuss their work in helping taxpayers and shareholders to recover moneys lost to fraud, corruption and securities violations, and also in securing rewards and protections for their clients. They focus on recent developments in the law and on practice pointers for whistleblower lawyers, both experienced and new.
This promises to be another banner year for whistleblowers and their lawyers. Whistleblower cases filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act allowed the Department of Justice to recover some $2.9 billion in fiscal year 2013 in areas ranging from Medicare fraud to procurement fraud in government contracts. During the same period the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that the SEC Whistleblower Program it established under the Dodd-Frank Act produced several whistleblower awards, including the first large award in the amount of $14 million. The SEC has also said it took in more than 3,000 whistleblower tips in 2013 and that more awards and very large ones are coming soon.
Nuts and Bolts of Social Media
[Video coming soon]
Building on our December Speaker Series on why firms should use social media, this webinar focuses on how. What tools should we use and why? What kinds of results should we be looking for? How do we create social media pages and know whether we're actually getting the results we want? Public Justice Communications Director Catherine Behan walks participants through the nuts and bolts of social media, focusing specifically on Facebook and Twitter. (March 12, 2014)
photo credit: ePublicist via photopin cc
Using Civil Litigation to Fight Injustice Government Won't
While business is working swiftly to exert control over government (hello Citizen's United!) nationally, it's been a way of life in places like West Virginia. Attorney Kevin Thompson has made a career using civil litigation to do what government, controlled by business, won't. H describes how he helps the little guys take on big business — and win. Thompson discusses his tactics in Hairston v Equitable Production, in which 14 African-American families in a small West Virginia town sued a natural gas company when old family gravestones were desecrated by building an access road. He also talks about work he is currently doing, leading a group of lawyers who have filed class actions representing the more than 300,000 whose water was undrinkable for weeks after a dangerous solvent was spilled into a West Virginia river. (Wednesday, February 12, 2014)
Cy Pres Done Right and Wrong
When it’s impossible to get damages from a successful class action to class members, cy pres awards—properly used—ensure that justice is done. Misused, they undermine the class members’ rights, impose injustice, and lead to settlements being overturned. Public Justice Executive Director Arthur Bryant discusses when and how to use cy pres awards. (January 7, 2014)
Social Media: Enhance Your Practice and Advance the Public Good
In a brave new world of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, social media wields incredible power of influence. Public Justice’s Paul Bland, Janet Varnell of Varnell and Warwick, and Michael J. Swanson of Advocate Capital, Inc., shared how they use social media to rally people on injustice.
How to Litigate Bullying Cases Against School Districts and Officials
Public Justice Managing Attorney Adele Kimmel provided an overview on how to navigate this emerging area of law. She discussed how to evaluate a school bullying case, legal theories and remedies available against school districts and officials, recent trends in bullying verdicts and settlements, and best practices for handling these cases.
Recorded Wednesday, October 9, 2013