July 18, 2011
Janto Predicts Proposed Antitrust Policy Provided by AALL Legal Counsel Will Not Be Adopted as Currently Drafted
I would like to take this opportunity to provide more information regarding an item on the AALL Executive Board's agenda for its July meeting. The item is the consideration of a proposed Antitrust Policy (page 42 - requires member login) for AALL.
The proposed policy is on our July agenda for discussion by the board. This does not mean the policy will be adopted as written. In fact, I am confident it will not be adopted as written because the board is aware members would not be satisfied with this policy, without further revision.
However, it is the policy that was developed by legal counsel, and it is the board's fiduciary responsibility to consider the policy as submitted and then to make decisions as to how to proceed. The board has a number of options available as to how to move forward on this issue (or if to move forward at all), and after the meeting I will advise the membership of the board's actions. I can assure you that its actions will be in the best interests of all members.
As we all know, vendor pricing and practices are important issues to AALL members. It is an issue we have been grappling with for many years. One facet of this issue involves antitrust law, and I think we are all in agreement that it does have some bearing on what we can and what we can't do as an association.
For a number of years, many members have inquired about a policy in this area which would clarify the role AALL can play in representing the interests of our members with vendors. The Executive Board has discussed this since that time, and that is why I recently asked AALL legal counsel to develop a PROPOSED antirust policy for AALL.
There is a lot of online discussion taking place regarding this agenda item, and it is helpful for the board to hear from members. One of the main reasons the Executive Board books are made available on AALLNET for all members to review is so that members can comment on issues that the board is considering. So I would also like to thank everyone who has commented on this issue.
AALL recently accomplished a major feat - the adoption of the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act. This promises what could be the greatest opportunity for increased competition in the marketplace. When adopted by the states, legal information will be widely available to the public, members of the legal profession, and start-up publishers. This is the power of AALL and members.
Joyce Manna Janto
Did I violate some whim or fancy of AALL by republishing this without permisson. If so, email the take-down notice to me.
Got Legal Analysis? Where is our legal counsel's memo or opinion letter that formed the basis for this latest expression of antitrustism? [JH]
While I too am curious, to say the least, about counsel's memo, I am not quite so anxious to have the executive board waive client confidentiality by publishing work product to the world. I suspect, however, that the draft guidelines in the policy are pretty close to a verbatim recitation of what counsel provided.
-- Ken, Yup, I certainly understand the client confidentiality issue, particularly in this respect -- the expansive prophylactic advice most likely relied upon by AALL's legal counsel could provide the legal authorities for a plaintiff's brief on the merits. There has already been some casual comments from outside antitrust expects that AALL is over-reaching in its antitrustism worries.
No doubt the final Antitrust Compliance Policy when it is adopted be AALL will be subject to closer examination for a "second opinion." -- Joe
Posted by: Ken Hirsh | Jul 19, 2011 5:45:48 AM