Defense Counsel Journal

President's Page - Volume 90, Number 1

Volume 90, No. 1

March 14, 2023

Beebe_Mark_2022_sized Mark R. Beebe

Mark R. Beebe

Mark Beebe is a partner at Adams and Reese LLP in New Orleans, Louisiana where he has practiced for thirty-five years in the area of business litigation, including class actions, antitrust, securities, D&O and E&O liability, contract disputes, and education law. He represents and advises multi-national companies, financial institutions, insurance companies, and privately-held businesses. Since 2007, Mark has been recognized for his work in both commercial litigation and antitrust by Best Lawyers in America® and Louisiana Super Lawyers®. He is also recognized by Chambers in the area of General Commercial Litigation. Mark has been a member of the IADC since 2002 and is the IADC’s 2022-2023 President.

On February 22, we closed our “wildly” successful Midyear Meeting in Austin, Texas. Arguably infected by the romanticization of the Lone Star history and the self-assurance with which our Texan hosts approach most any conversation, I dare say that the Midyear Meeting highlighted and displayed what can only be described as IADC exceptionalism. What Texas refers to as its “exceptionalism” is part cult, part romantic folklore delivered with some swagger. While America promotes that its westward expansion and challenges of the frontier undoubtedly shaped our national persona—optimistic, determined, self-reliant—Texas “beefed it up like an Angus bull on steroids,” according to one commentator.  

While in Austin, the IADC did what it does best—we taught, we learned, we networked, we socialized. We fulfilled the IADC’s core purpose: we enhanced the development of skills, professionalism, and camaraderie. An illustrative sampling of the impressive CLE presentations included the exploration of the future of strategic risk management with a panel of elite trial lawyers explaining that we can indeed design ideal strategies to better and more successfully defend our clients. Seasoned trial lawyers educated us about why voir dire is not only among the most critical parts of any trial but also the most entertaining and fun. We learned about how the collapse of the Champlain Towers condominium in Florida created a tidal wave of litigation extending far beyond who was responsible for the collapse, how a mediator triangulated the conflicting claims and defenses in an expedited ADR proceeding, and how impressively major aspects of these cases were resolved in less than a year.

We reported our progress on the IADC’s Wildly Important Goals (WIGs)—increasing our members’ satisfaction with their engagement and with their business development opportunities generated from the IADC. In the first four months since rolling out the WIGs, we have conducted 113 monthly Substantive Law Committee meetings, following a revamped format to provide substantive content and meaningful networking, including joint Committee meetings to capture the natural synergies that exist among the different Committee disciplines. Our Committees made no less than 86 presentations on substantive developments and best practices. The IADC offered 27 published writing opportunities. Significantly, from October through December 2022, 23% of IADC members had given or received a referral, the cumulative value of which was approximately $8 million.

We networked and socialized. We again held our speed-networking event with forty new and veteran members meeting, interacting, and exchanging ideas in a series of one-on-one exchanges. We held not one but two “theme” parties. We celebrated Lundi Gras so energetically, so passionately, Rex, the King of the New Orleans Carnival, was envious. We Second-Lined, we slurped-down shucked oysters, we savored our gumbo, and we definitely danced like no-one was watching. We closed with the Austin City NO Limits Party, paying homage to Texas culture, food, and music while two-stepping in our best boots and Austin chic.

Meeting in person in Austin again reminded us what makes the IADC unique. Our strength lies in what we do—we are an association of accomplished lawyers and insurance executives willing to share our many gifts, including our professional skills and personal brand of welcoming hospitality. So I ask that you re-engage, and take the fullest advantage of your IADC membership—write (including for this fine Journal), speak, share your talents. Network and join us at a Substantive Law Committee meeting, a Regional Meeting, the Corporate Counsel College, and the Professional Liability Roundtables. And of course, come to Hawaii for what will be yet another “exceptional” meeting. Aloha!