Fellow members of the Business and Corporate Litigation Committee -
It was wonderful to see so many of you in Chicago during the recent Annual Meeting - old friends and new friends/first-time attendees. Thanks also to those
of you who dialed in for various meetings when you weren't able to attend in-person. (And sorry for some of the dial-in kinks that are still being worked
This is to offer some highlights from the Annual Meeting, to share other news of importance to BCL Committee members, and to flag dates for upcoming
To re-cap some highlights of the Annual Meeting:
*CLE programs. Our Committee sponsored two CLE programs and co-sponsored five CLE programs, all outstanding. Special thanks to BCL Committee members
who organized and presented the two sponsored programs - one of Supreme Court arbitration cases and the other on preferred stock.
*BCL Committee Meeting. We had our best-ever-attended Committee meeting, with many new faces and with subcommittee, task force, and working group
leaders presenting reports on recent and anticipated activities.
*Meetings of our Subcommittees, Task Forces, and Working Groups. Many BCL Committee subcommittees, task forces, and working groups convened during
the Annual Meeting. The Corporate Counseling and Litigation Subcommittee and the Indemnification and Insurance Subcommittee met jointly to discuss key
considerations when litigation is filed in multiple jurisdictions.
*BCL Committee Dinner. We had a sell-out, largest-ever for an Annual Meeting gathering of our Committee members at Bin 36. The company, food,
beverages, and service were excellent even if the AC wasn't (sorry about that, and thanks again for the kind indulgence). Thanks again to Gary Zhao and his
law firm, SmithAmundsen LLC, for their generous sponsorship of the reception portion of the dinner.
*Public service project. Our Committee's Pro Bono and Public Service Committee partnered with the Business Law Section's Young Lawyer Committee and
Junior Achievement of Chicago to present "Ask an Expert Day." Volunteers met with students from local high schools to discuss career paths and preparatory
education. There were numerous volunteers, and the program was well-received. Special thanks to Subcommittee Co-Chairs Kristin Gore and Victoria Newman.
*Various gatherings. BCL Committee members also attended the Section Welcome Reception, the Diversity Networking Reception, the Section Luncheon,
and the 22nd Annual Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Awards Luncheon. I know from speaking with attendees that our Committee members
were out in force -- networking, recruiting new Committee members, and encouraging active involvement with the BCL Committee. Thanks to all!
*Increase in BCL Committee Membership. During the Annual Meeting, we learned that membership recruitment efforts have been paying off. Year-to-year,
we have seen our Committee increase in size from 1,768 members to 1,922 members - an increase of 154. That means that we currently are the fifth largest of
the fifty committees in the Business Law Section. Larger committees include: Mergers and Acquisitions (4,131); Federal Regulation of Securities (2,658);
Corporate Governance (2,325); and Commercial Finance (2,034). Of note is that the increase in BCL Committee membership was surpassed by only two
committees, Legal Opinions (263) and Mergers and Acquisitions (163). Also of note is that numerous other committees have seen de minimis growth or even a
decline in membership. Bottom line: please continue to reach out to other Business Law Section members and encourage them to join our Committee.
We of course are not interested in "cannabilizing" from other BLS committees. But the
fact is that many Section members enjoy membership in multiple committees of the Section. In addition, recent analysis has shown that only about 20% of
Business Law Section members currently belong to a committee of the Section. And, of course, please remember your family and friends who may not yet belong
to the Section or even to the ABA!
In other news:
*Gary Zhao. Hearty congratulations to Gary Zhao on becoming President of the Chinese American Bar Association of Greater Chicago!
*Michael Bernasconi. Michael Bernasconi, Co-Chair of our Sports-related Disputes Subcommittee, has again done us proud by serving as judge of the
Court of Arbitration for Sport on anti-doping, selection and other matters in the Olympics in London!
*New Task Force of the Business Law Section. Our Committee was asked by the Business Law Section to take the lead in forming a Task Force on the
Development of Business Conduct Standards Directed to Human Trafficking. We have done so, and Brad Newman and Denise Kraft are serving as Co-Chairs of the
Task Force (which will work closely with an ABA trafficking task force established by new ABA President Laurel Bellows).
*Our Newest Subcommittee. I am delighted to report that the BCL Committee's newest subcommittee will soon be the Trial Practice Subcommittee.
Co-Chairs will be Judge Gail Andler and Dan Formeller. Co-Vice Chairs will be Michaela Sozio and Charmagne Sutherlin. Many thanks to these four leaders for
their vision and their energy!
*Section Strategic Planning Efforts. Business Law Section leadership is currently pursuing renewed strategic planning efforts, known as "Advance
IV." Leaders are identifying and examining in-depth issues related to membership, content delivery, and technology. Immediate Past BCL Committee Chair Pete
Walsh is serving as Co-Chair of the overall effort.
*Invitation to Submit Ideas for Programs. Please submit to Meetings and Programs Co-Vice Chair Stuart Riback
(SRiback@wilkauslander.com) any ideas for programs to be presented either during meetings and/or through
webinars or podcasts.
*Invitation to Submit Material for Publication. Please keep in mind the opportunity to submit material for publication in our
Annual Review of Developments in Business and Corporate Litigation, our Network newsletter, Business Law Today, and/or
The Business Lawyer. Please also keep in mind the opportunity to submit material to the Publications Board of the Business Law Section
(either as an individual author or as a member of a committee or subcommittee).
Finally, please mark your calendars for, and plan to attend the following meetings:
*2012 Fall Meeting (Washington, D.C. Nov. 15-16, 2012)
*2013 Spring Meeting (Washington, D.C. Apr. 4-6, 2013)
*2013 Annual Meeting (San Francisco, CA Aug. 8-10, 2013).
• • •
Thank you for your involvement in - and support of - the Business and Corporate Litigation Committee, and please let me know if I can lend a hand in any
way (email@example.com or (302) 571-6679).