This is my first note as Editor of the Defense Counsel Journal. It was a true pleasure these past two years to work with Michael Franklin Smith, who served as DCJ Editor from 2016 to 2018. His leadership and innovation brought the Defense Counsel Journal into the digital age while still maintaining its scholarly excellence. I look forward to following his lead while collaborating with Editor-Elect Christopher Parkerson, a partner in Campbell Campbell Edwards & Conroy P.C. As always, I look forward to working with Amy O’Maley McGuire, Managing Editor, who makes everything work in her typical efficient and unassuming manner. I am also excited to work with Robert F. Greenlee, Deputy Editor, who is responsible for the final excellent product that arrives on our computers every quarter, and all of those Committee Vice Chairs and members of the Board of Editors who find us authors and provide peer review for the publications that are submitted. I am fortunate to have this be the next chapter of my IADC life and can only hope that Horace Greely’s words, “Journalism will kill you, but it will keep you alive while you're at it. ...” are applicable in only their figurative sense.
This edition of the DCJ contains three informative and interesting articles. “The More Things Change: Bankruptcy Trust Reform and the Status Quo in Asbestos Litigation” by John J. Hare and Daniel J. Ryan looks at the emerging law aimed at addressing asbestos tort reform on the state level. This article dovetails nicely with the great work that Mark Behrens, and the IADC Civil Justice Response Committee that he chairs, have been doing in advocating for trust transparency laws that address evidence suppression and inconsistent claims activities that are pursued regularly by asbestos plaintiffs’ attorneys. We are also fortunate to publish an IADC Legal Writing Contest 2017 award winning article from Conrad Flaczyk and Nicolas Glaudemans out of McGill University’s Faculty of Law in Montreal, Canada. It looks at Anglo-Canadian contract law and the disturbing growth of punitive damages in that arena. This article is also significant in that it marks the end of the IADC Legal Writing Contest, which has long been a fixture of our IADC culture. Finally, there is an article authored by yours truly, but actually written by two very bright associates that I have the privilege of working with at McCarter and English here in Newark, NJ – Jean Patterson, who recently returned from what she characterized as a career-changing week at the IADC Trial Academy, and Steven Del Mauro, who will someday be a Trial Academy student. Our article helps to identify some of the many legal hurdles that face manufacturers who want to launch products in the United States.
As always, the DCJ faces challenges in attracting quality authors to submit works for its Editors to review. Please consider contributing an article for publication. Our articles are often cited favorably by courts and legal commentators and provide an excellent opportunity for our members (and their associates) to showcase their talents and expertise. I am excited about the next two years and welcome any input that our readers have to offer, particularly with respect to what topics they would like to see covered.
Kenneth R. Meyer
Editor and Chair of the Board of Editors, Defense Counsel Journal
Partner, McCarter & English, LLP