Defense Counsel Journal

Editor's Page - Volume 87, Number 3

Volume 87, No. 3

October 20, 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.

As the three of you reading this likely do not know, my term as the DCJ Editor and Chair of the Board of Editors (who are those guys anyway) has come to an end. It has been an honor to serve in this position for the last two years and a privilege to work with the incredible duo that actually make this publication a reality every three months, DCJ Managing Editor AOM and Deputy Editor Bob Greenlee. They both put in many unheralded hours that always result in a superb publication. Thank you Amy and Bob! I now pass the proverbial chisel, pencil, pen, typewriter, and laptop to Christopher Parkerson who will assume the role of Editor and Chair as soon as I type the last period on this page. Christopher has ably served as Editor-Elect for the past two years and will, I know, do an excellent job in his new role. Welcome Christopher!

As always, this edition of the DCJ offers timely and practical articles that will be of interest to all. Lauren Greenspoon and Ryan Class discuss defending producers under the recently enacted, COVID-induced, Defense Production Act. This piece takes a deep dive into the DPA, its history and the evolution of the Government Contractor Defense and related immunity. This is a must read for both entities producing product under the DPA and those providing legal counsel to those entities. 

Claire Weglarz, Eric Hawkins, and Evelyn Fletcher Davis have written an article examining the unusual recent actions of the EPA in attempting to ban asbestos in almost exclusive reliance upon the work of plaintiffs’ experts and attorneys. This is an eye opening read into yet another unusual action of our current administration in addressing environmental issues, one that the IADC offered comment upon in June 2020 together with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a host of other like-minded public advocacy groups.    

Finally, Past President Bruce Parker, Scott Armstrong, and Thomasina Poirot offer a fascinating article looking at the law relating to wrongful birth actions and forcefully argue that such actions, which exist in only three states, are unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade. I found this article particularly compelling given that I practice in one of those three states and spent time years back defending medical care providers in cases involving wrongful birth claims.

I encourage all to read this edition and pass it along to someone who is a potential new member. In this time of tweets and sound bites the DCJ remains a beacon of the type of in-depth and insightful legal analysis that will always be a necessity to those practicing law. Andrew was spot on in his comment on the President’s Page identifying the DCJ as being “true to long-held traditional standards.” With that, I part with the words of Joseph Pulitzer, which references newspapers but I believe are applicable, in the quoted portion, to the DCJ: “Put it before them… clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light.”