February 14, 2019

Subcommittee Reports

Business Divorce

The Business Divorce Subcommittee met at the Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C., where Curtis Golkow of Golkow Business Law LLC spoke on "A Transactional Lawyer's Approach to Business Divorce."  If you missed it, Mr. Golkow’s discussion was fast-paced and filled to the brim with practical advice and war stories.   Join us at the Spring Meeting in Vancouver on March 29 at 9:30 am to hear Janel Dressen of Anthony Ostlund Baer & Louwagie P.A. lead a discussion about Oppression Liability: Lying, Cheating or Stealing is Not Necessary.  The Subcommittee is currently seeking a dynamic speaker to present at the annual meeting in Washington, DC, September 12-14, 2019.  Members interested in presenting at Subcommittee meetings should contact Melissa Donimirski (mdonimirski@hegh.law). The Subcommittee welcomes all attorneys interested in the Business Divorce practice area.

Pro Bono/Public Service Project

On Thursday morning, March 28, from 7:30 AM to 8:30 AM, the BCLC together with the Young Lawyer Committee, will sponsor a Public Service Project with Junior Achievement for their local young alumni who are interested in the practice of law.  Volunteers will provide “speed career mentoring” to the attendees at the meeting headquarters, the Fairmont Waterfront, Room 212, West Level 2.  Please contact Kristin Gore at kgore@carltonfields.com or Gina Dickinson at  gina.dickinson@americanbar.org to volunteer.

Membership

The BCLC is currently the ninth largest committee in the Business Law Section with 1,822 total members. From December 2017 to December 2018, in contrast to the Section, the BCLC had growth in its Lawyer member ranks, with an increase of approximately 2% in this category. However, consistent with the Section, the BCLC did experience a slight decline in its Student and Associate member ranks, resulting in a minor decrease of less than 1% in total membership.  During this same period, the Section's membership had similar membership statistics.  Overall, the Section is the largest member group in the ABA with 43,457 members.

The ABA is addressing its long-term trend of declining membership with reduced dues and a more sensible dues structure. The new dues rates will go into effect next year. 

Judge Elizabeth Stong and Edward Fitzgerald continue to serve as Co-Chairs of the Membership Subcommittee. The Membership Subcommittee will report on current membership statistics and recruitment efforts at the upcoming Spring Meeting in Vancouver. As always, the Membership Subcommittee welcomes the participation of all BCLC members in its efforts to increase our membership. Contact Edward Fitzgerald at Edward.Fitzgerald@hklaw.com with questions.

Communications and Technology

Dear Subcommittee Leaders:

We now have a new Business and Corporate Litigation Committee website and the new ABA Connect website.  The Business and Corporate Litigation Committee site is where you would go to join a new subcommittee, view recent Newsletters, or find other important Materials and Resources.  You can find that website at:  https://www.americanbar.org/groups/business_law/committees/bcl/

The ABA Connect website has a forum to post messages to other BCLC members, a place for photos, and a library area for each subcommittee.  Here are some suggestions for your libraries:

  • Add links to articles from Business Law Today or The Business Lawyer relevant to your Subcommittee, even if not produced by your Subcommittee;
    • If you would like to add links to other articles, please get permission from the original publisher.
  • For those of you attending the spring meeting in Vancouver, make sure you take a few pictures from any meetings or presentations your subcommittee has;
    • Don’t forget to provide captions for smaller group photos identifying names and roles in the committee or subcommittee.
  • Add links to program audio or materials from meetings or presentations; and
  • Add some narrative on what your Subcommittee is doing or what your Subcommittee focuses on.

It is fairly easy to post things on ABA Connect, but if you are not comfortable doing it yourself you can send text, links, or pictures to Graham Hunt (graham.hunt@americanbar.org) or Laura Readinger (lreadinger@morrisjames.com), and we will make sure they get posted.

Class and Derivative Actions Subcommittee

The Class and Derivative Actions Subcommittee is excited about its forthcoming updates to the chapter on Class and Derivative Actions in the annually published Recent Developments in Business and Corporate Litigation.

We will be hosting a joint Subcommittee meeting with the Criminal & Enforcement Litigation, and Securities Litigation and Arbitration subcommittees at the Spring Meeting in Vancouver on Friday, March 29, 2019 at 11:00 a.m.. If you are planning to attend be sure to let one of the Subcommittee co-chairs or vice-chairs know in advance.

The Subcommittee continues to welcome new members, and encourages anyone interested in this robust and growing area of litigation, whether defense or plaintiff side advocates, or in-house counsel, to join. If anyone is interested in getting involved or learning more about the Class and Derivative Actions subcommittee, we encourage you to contact one of our co-chairs Kevin Metz or Kristian Brabander, or one of our vice-chairs, Sarah Tomkowiak, Michael O’Brien, Christopher Hubbard, or Jennifer Gray.