More engagement from the defense bar is needed to ensure that groups charged with developing law are not unbalanced in the favor of the plaintiff’s bar, Shook Partner Mark Behrens, co-chair of the firm’s Public Policy Group, said in an Expert Analysis - Opinion article in Law360.
The article, titled “ALI, Bar Groups Need More Defense Engagement For Balance,” highlights The American Law Institute’s endorsement of no-injury medical monitoring claims and the Florida Bar’s Standing Committee on Civil Procedure Rules, which is composed of roughly three times as many plaintiff’s lawyers as defense and corporate counsel.
Behrens said both are representative of a national problem, which results in a loss of credibility and potential loss of membership. He calls on defense lawyers to become more engaged, and on legal organizations to improve recruiting and retaining civil defense and corporate counsel and strive for consensus decision making.
“The ALI and state bar committees need to be balanced and welcoming of all perspectives,” he said. “This cannot happen, however, without more engagement from the defense bar. Law firms should support lawyers in these activities. Corporate defendants should be engaged too, and reward outside firms that participate. If these goals can be accomplished, the ALI and state bar committees will be stronger in the long run. Perhaps most importantly, the development of the law will benefit through the adoption of sound and fair rules that enjoy widespread consensus.”