Thursday, May 24, 2012

Upcoming Program for South Carolina Chapter of ACC

One of the things that has taken up some of my time over the last few months is preparing a Continuing Legal Education ("CLE") program that my firm is presenting to members of the South Carolina Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel.  This is a great group of attorneys who serve in-house with companies across South Carolina.

The evolution of this program was quite a "process."  I began by just soliciting the thoughts of my colleagues.  However, the more I looked at other CLE programs, the more I wanted ours to have a global theme within which the various topics would "fit."  So...I took the topics we batted around here in the firm and tried to come up with a common thread.  The result? 

The hyperlink above provides more information, but the nutshell is that we are doing a three-hour CLE presentation in which the first hour focuses on general risk management and coverage principles, risk management in employment law and social media, and finally a panel discussion of managing litigation risk.  I am presenting during the first hour on general business risk management, including some "war stories" from my practice and observations over the years.  My colleagues Christian Boesl and Charles Appleby are handling the employment piece, and the panel discussion arose from a conversation I had with Jon Ozmint at our law firm.  Jon used to be the head of the South Carolina Department of Corrections.  In this capacity, he was often named as a defendant in section 1983 lawsuits, and he has a unique perspective on litigation risk management. 

I am excited about this litigation risk management panel.  In addition to Jon, I have enlisted a litigation consultant to serve on the panel, as well as in-house representatives from Piggly Wiggly - South Carolina and South Carolina Electric and Gas.  My hope is to have a variety of perspectives from different types of entities that face a wide range of litigation exposure.  We will discuss how litigation risk management varies depending on the industry and company size, as well as develop some common tools for all businesses in litigation.

None of the above is "products" specific per se, although some of my presentation will incorporate some products liability case examples.  However, I like to keep my readers up on what I have been doing, so the above is the "latest."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Forthcoming Article in SCDTAA's "For the Defense"

This is my second year serving as Co-Chair of the South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys Association's Products Liability Substantive Law Committee.  One of our responsibilities is to provide content for an issue of SCDTAA's publication, "The Defense Line" which comes out two or three times a year.  It is a great publication that is sent out to members, and I have provided some products liability content in the past.  (See past submissions here and here).

I have just completed my submission for the upcoming publication.  I basically did a review of South Carolina's general law concerning equitable (non-contractual) indemnification, and I surveyed its application in South Carolina's products liability cases.  Indemnification, in my experience, is not something that any party really wants to focus on in a case.  Plaintiffs do not really care about it one way or the other, and defendants typically want to defend the safety of their product before pointing fingers at someone else they believe may bear potential liability.  However, it is an important concept, and trying to make sense of the case law addressing it can be a little tiresome.  Therefore, I have attempted to provide an understandable and comprehensive summary for practitioners.

The article is entitled "Application of South Carolina's Equitable Indemnification Law in the Products Liability Case."  Once the publication comes out, I will try and provide a link or upload a copy of the article.  Look for it!