Monday, June 12, 2023

Mark Behrens on ALI and Bar Groups Needing More Defense Engagement for Balance

Law360 has published, ALI, Bar Groups Need More Defense Engagement for Balance, by Mark Behrens (Co-Chair, Public Policy Group and Partner at Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P.).  Here is an excerpt:

The personal injury plaintiffs bar has an impressive level of participation in organizations that are involved in the development of the law. Many of these attorneys have a genuine interest in improving the law, regardless of any economic self-interest.

But bias and promotion of policies that benefit plaintiffs are present. For various reasons, defense counsel are, in general, not similarly engaged.

The result is a lack of balance that is palpable. The American Law Institute and the Florida Bar's Civil Procedure Rules Committee are examples.

Groups that are involved in the development of the law must do a better job attracting and welcoming lawyers representing diverse corporate defendants and corporate counsel. The defense bar, in turn, must become more active, so that the perspective of civil defendants is not missed, or worse, drowned out.

Balance is critical if groups that have long enjoyed a special place of prestige and influence in the law wish to continue to command widespread respect. Otherwise, they risk being viewed as advocacy groups, akin to the American Association for Justice.

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