Defense Counsel Journal

Editor's Page - Volume 86, Number 4

Volume 86, No. 4

February 13, 2020

Meyer_Ken_2022_sized Kenneth R. Meyer

Kenneth R. Meyer

Ken Meyer is with McCarter & English and is a former editor of the IADC Defense Counsel Journal. He is senior trial lawyer certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney and is primarily a commercial litigator who defends complex product liability, mass tort, and significant personal injury and property damage cases. He has litigated cases in state and federal courts in 27 States, has acted as defense liaison counsel for branded pharmaceutical companies, and serves as national coordinating, regional, and local counsel.

With all of the excitement surrounding the upcoming Centennial of the IADC we almost lost track of the fact that this year is the 85th anniversary of the Defense Counsel Journal. The inaugural issue of the Insurance Counsel Journal was published in April 1934. That year also saw: Josephine Baker become the first black woman to star in a major motion picture (the French film Zouzou); the first ski tow in the U.S. (rope, Woodstock, Vt.); Alcatraz open as a federal prison; Italy beat Czechoslovakia in the World Cup; and the IADC’s hometown Black Hawks win its first Stanley Cup championship.        

In 1934 the Association was called the IAIC, the International Association of Insurance Counsel. In 1986 it was recognized that the thrust of the defense practice had changed and “insurance” no longer represented the work being performed by many of its members. Accordingly, in 1987, the name of the Association was changed by the membership to the International Association of Defense Counsel and the Journal was aptly renamed the Defense Counsel Journal. The Journal is the oldest continuously operating legal publication devoted to the defense of civil litigation. The DCJ considers at a scholarly level current legal trends and informs its readership of timely problems that they may face in their practice. This tradition is exemplified by the informative articles by Peter Durney and Harrison Lebov, Henry Morrissette, and Mike Gladstone described by Amy Fischer on the “President's Page.”

Eighty-five years ago there was another intersection of the law and journalism when the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling striking down the government’s attempt to ban James Joyce’s Ulysses.  It is said that Judges Learned and Augustus Hand, in an effort to reduce the publicity that the case was attracting, “agreed that the opinion affirming [the] ruling [below] should, if at all possible, contain ‘not a single quotable line’” and thus the majority opinion was written by Augustus rather than his cousin Learned. Gunther, Gerald (1994). Learned Hand: The Man and the Judge. New York: Knopf (1994). However, Augustus wrote an artful and insightful opinion, which you can, if you so choose, read for yourself. United States v. One Book Entitled Ulysses by James Joyce, 72 F.2d 705 (2d Cir. 1934). While our authors’ topics are far from prurient, their writing is, like that of Augustus Hand, excellent. I know that you will all join me in thanking these authors for their outstanding pieces and their contributions to our history.

Kenneth R. Meyer
Editor and Chair of the Board of Editors