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Public Justice's Speaker Series
Public Justice's quarterly speaker series provides members vital information on issues relevant to practicing lawyers today. Each talk will last one hour (45 minute presentation and 15 minute Q&A).
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.
Questions? Contact: memberservices [at] publicjustice [dot] net (subject: Speaker%20Series)
Speaker Series Schedule
To register: log in to the site and select the "Members Only Content" link in the drop down menu.
Tyson, The Chamber, and the Supreme Court: How One Case Could Change the Future of Class Actions
October 14, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. EDT/noon PST
Jocelyn Larkin of the Impact Fund and Jason Lichtman of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein discuss one of the fall's blockbuster Supreme Court cases. Tyson v. Bouaphakeo could drastically change the future of class action litigation. Hear from two of the country's foremost experts about how this important case could also impact wage and hour lawsuits and the role of experts and evidence in litigation.
Larkin and Lichtman will explain why consumer advocates and class action litigators must pay close attention to the case and why the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is fighting alongside one of the country's largest food producers to turn consumers and workers away from the courthouse doors.
Key Steps to Making Better Appellate Arguments
June 16, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. EDT/10:00 a.m. PST
In this webinar, a very experienced appellate advocate will discuss strategies and approaches for handling appellate arguments. Topics addressed will include choosing the right opening, anticipating likely questions, how to make concise and pointed answers, and addressing hostile judges. The presenter will be Public Justice Executive Director Paul Bland. NOTE: Jonathan Selbin of Lieff Cabraser Hermann Bernstein, originally slated to present, is unable to attend. (photo via wallyg on Flickr)
Supreme Court Year in Review
April 1, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. EST/10:00 a.m. PST
Erwin Chemerinsky, Founding Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law at the UC Irvine School of Law, will present. The constitutional law expert will review major cases from the October 2013 and October 2014 terms, with a special emphasis on those affecting Public Justice's program areas.
GM Ignition Switch Litigation Update
Wednesday, November 12, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. EST/11:00 a.m. PST
Lance Cooper will provide an update on the GM ignition switch litigation. He will address the status of the MDL cases in New York, as well as the state court cases around the country. He will also discuss the findings contained in the Valukas Report (GM’s June 2014 report to federal regulators outlining the problems that led to its ignition switch recall crisis) and their implications not only in the ignition switch litigation, but GM cases generally. There will also be a discussion of the Feinberg Plan to compensate victims, including claims submitted and awards made to date.
Legal Catch 22: How to Navigate ERISA Subrogation and Avoid Liens
Wednesday, October 8, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. EST/11:00 a.m. PST
Public Justice Staff Attorney Matt Wessler and Attorney Stan Marks will discuss recent developments in the current landscape governing ERISA subrogation and reimbursement claims, including the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in US Airways v. McCutchen and Cigna v. Amara and the pending cert. petition in Thurber v. Aetna. They will also discuss effective strategies to avoid or reduce ERISA liens.
Working on High-Profile Civil Rights Cases with Daryl Parks
Tuesday, September 16, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. EST/11:00 a.m. PST
Daryl Parks is one of the foremost civil rights litigators in America, and he is currently working to secure justice for the family of Michael Brown. Parks has also been an attorney for the family of Trayvon Martin, and is a member of the Public Justice Foundation's Board of Directors.
In this webinar, Parks will speak on:
- The social context of police shootings in America
- Strategies for investigating the key facts in a police shooting case
- Strategies for litigating and trying police shooting cases
- Handling the interplay between criminal actions and civil cases for families and victims
- Dealing with the media storm in high-profile cases
Ask Public Justice's Executive Director Paul Bland
Wednesday, August 10, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. EST/11:00 a.m. PST
On September 10, Public Justice Executive Director Paul Bland answered questions posed by members on a variety of aspects of Public Justice's current work. These included questions on the state of the fight against forced arbitration, on efforts to pick off class representatives, and on the firm's litigation against so-called "rent-a-tribe" payday lenders.
Proposed Changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Special Non-Speaker Series Webinar. Open to the Public)
Monday, August 25, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. EST/11:00 a.m. PST
Proposals are working their way through the system that, if they’re not amended, would change the rules of discovery – including decades-old language we’ve all come to rely on. What do these changes mean for people seeking access to justice? Hear from three lawyers actively involved in the discovery amendment process about what is changing, and what lawyers need to do to best represent their clients in the face of a changing discovery landscape.
Learn how to:
- Use changes in the case management process to get more discovery at less expense.
- Keep the proposed historic changes to Rule 26 – the heart of the discovery rules – from barring the doors to justice for our clients.
- Show judges that “proportionality” and “cost-shifting” language should not be used to make the injured party bear the defendant’s discovery costs.
- Use a new tool to uncover stonewalling.
- Navigate the new sanctions standard.
Learn what made Professor Arthur Miller caution: “What appears to be happening…betrays either an antilitigation, antiplaintiff, pro-business and pro-government orientation, or pro-management bias, or a combination thereof.” (See more at: http://www.publicjustice.net/content/access-justice-stake-federal-rules-changes#sthash.2BVAovSa.dpuf)
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