About the Association
The International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) has been serving a distinguished membership of corporate and insurance defense attorneys since 1920.
Its activities benefit the approximately 2,500 invitation-only, peer-reviewed members and their clients as well as the civil justice system and the legal profession. Moreover, the IADC takes a leadership role in many areas of legal reform and professional development.
History of the Association
The history of the IADC is one of prestige, achievement and commitment to excellence, not only for its members but also for the civil justice system and those who participate in its process.
The Association was created in 1920 by a group of general counsels, calling themselves the General Counsels’ Association of the United States. Its purpose was to foster good will and cooperation among general counsel who shared common interests and challenges. In 1928, the members invited leading lawyers to join, seeking to gain broader insight into the various legal issues affecting the insurance industry. The Association changed its name to the International Association of Insurance Counsel (IAIC) to reflect the new membership and focus.
Membership expanded greatly during the 1930s, with lawyers and executives coming from both the United States and Canada. By World War II, there were 2,000 members, each of whom was invited to join the Association through an in-depth committee review process. It was the committee structure of the Association at that time, eventually diversifying into specific areas of substantive law, professional development, and administration, which would become the foundation for the innovative work and activity of the Association.
In the post-war years, a rapid growth in the number, complexity, and geographic scope of civil lawsuits made the IAIC a premier training ground for lawyers internationally. This commitment would become a mainstay for professional development and legal reform for the Association. At the same time, the quality of membership rose as a result of higher criteria for peer reviewing of prospective members.
The Association also began to expand its international membership, recognizing the globalization of business and the law. The Association continues today to adjust and adapt to the needs of the members in an expanding international marketplace.
In 1960, it created the Defense Research Institute (DRI) to provide broad-based support and education for the defense bar. The IADC later founded Lawyers for Civil Justice (LCJ) to address rapidly accelerating litigation costs, runaway jury verdicts and routine awards of punitive damages. By the mid-1970s, with many corporations now self-insuring, the membership began representing more and more corporations directly. In 1985, to mirror this change in focus, the Association changed its name to the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC).
A Distinguished Membership
The IADC membership is comprised of the world’s leading corporate and insurance lawyers. They are partners in large and small law firms, senior counsel in corporate law departments, and corporate and insurance executives. Members represent the largest corporations around the world, including the majority of companies listed in the FORTUNE 500.
IADC members handle cases in all jurisdictions and have been involved in many precedent setting decisions and appeals. They have been appointed to federal and state judgeships and elected to numerous local, state, and federal government positions. Members are leaders of hundreds of important legal, corporate, industry, and non-profit organizations.
Their responsibilities include chairmanships of national and state committees of the American Bar Association; presidents of Inns of Court and state and local bar associations; presidents of trade and law associations and chambers of commerce; and board members of corporations, academic institutions, charities, and special legal organizations.
Scholarship and academic leadership are prevalent activities for IADC members. They publish widely in bar and trade journals, law reviews, and professional publications. Members appear on television and are sought out for comment in business and general circulation print media. They are trustees, or hold governing appointments, at many academic institutions from Harvard and Tulane to St. John’s and the University of Denver.
What it means to be part of the IADC
The core purpose of the IADC is to enhance the development of skills, professionalism and camaraderie to serve and benefit the members, their clients, as well as the civil justice system, the legal profession and society in general.
Members of the IADC are part of a powerful and select group with advanced skills in defense law who look to each other to further promote their skills, their business, and the profession in general. Members often look to each other to assist with cases or offer counsel.
Being part of the IADC means you have experienced success in your career and are committed to supporting your profession. But beyond that, the IADC is unique in the truly lifelong friendships and business relationships it facilitates. Its small size, high quality events, and activities create an environment for lawyers of similar caliber to get to know each other and become not only business colleagues but friends.