• 22 Feb 2018 11:11 AM | Kathi McKeown (Administrator)

    • by DRI
    • Feb 20, 2018, 08:36 AM

    CHICAGO ­– (February 19, 2018)—The only national poll of average Americans on the civil justice system has found the majority of them are not willing to rely on either computers or non-lawyer assistants for legal advice. This is the conclusion obtained in the latest DRI National Poll on the Civil Justice System conducted in December by AmeriSpeak, a polling firm of NORC at the University of Chicago. 

    The poll results are highly relevant to the legal profession and the judicial system given the conversation surrounding the application of artificial intelligence and the rise of low-cost legal counseling services that employ non-lawyer assistants. 

    “There are many consumers of legal services in the U.S.” says DRI president John Kuppens. “Because most of the debate about the justice system takes place among lawyers, jurists, and policy-makers, DRI thinks it important to find out what the average person thinks  about our civil justice system. You would probably get different answers to our questions if they were being asked of corporate purchases of legal services.” 

    When asked if they would be comfortable relying on legal advice provided by a computer, two-thirds (66.7%) of those polled said “No.” When asked the same question about receiving legal advice from someone who did not attend law school, the response was overwhelmingly negative (85.4%). Of those that responded “yes” to either question, their confidence was limited to transactional services like preparing a will or handling a real estate closing. 

    In another question regarding artificial intelligence, respondents were asked if they would rather have their cases decided by a computer generated formula, a judge, a jury, or an arbitrator who may or may not have legal training, The vast majority (87.1%) preferred a judge or jury. Only 5.1% would opt for a computer generated formula.

    “This underscores the importance of the DRI poll,” said Steve Puiszis, chair of DRI’s Center for Law and Public Policy. “Without the science of professional polling, any conversation about consumer preferences on legal services and other aspects of the judicial system are just a matter of speculation or personal bias. The DRI poll is a scientific reflection of popular opinion.” 

    Puiszis noted “there are important societal questions reflected in the DRI poll. All stakeholders in our civil justice system should be concerned about access to justice for those who need it. Corporations generally don’t have access to justice problems but individual citizens may.” So, are current alternatives like low-cost computer-based services an acceptable solution to those in need? For many average Americans the answer is “only in some cases” according to the DRI poll. Likewise, the overwhelming number of average Americans still want human beings adjudicating their cases. 

    The poll of more than 1,400 households was conducted by AmeriSpeak, a polling firm funded and operated by NORC at the University of Chicago.  AmeriSpeak® is a probability-based panel designed to be representative of the US household population. Randomly selected US households are sampled with a known, non-zero probability of selection from the NORC National Sample Frame, and then contacted by US mail, email, telephone, and field interviewers (face to face). AmeriSpeak panelists participate in NORC studies or studies conducted by NORC on behalf of governmental agencies, academic researchers, and media and commercial organizations.


    About DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar

    For more than fifty-five years, DRI has been the voice of the defense bar, advocating for 22,000 defense attorneys, commercial trial attorneys, and corporate counsel and defending the integrity of the civil judiciary. A thought leader, DRI provides world-class legal education, deep expertise for policy-makers, legal resources, and networking opportunities to facilitate career and law firm growth. For more information, log on to

  • 21 Feb 2018 11:41 AM | Kathi McKeown (Administrator)

    KDC welcomes its two newest members:

    John Hardesty of Blackburn Domene & Burchett, PLLC, Louisville.

    Michael G. Erena of Boehl Stopher & Graves, LLP, Louisville is a University of Kentucky Law School graduate.  Mr. Erena practices in the areas of Auto, General Liability, Insurance Coverage, Premises Liability, Real Estate Transaction Liability and Tort.  He is sponsored by KDC member, David E. Crittenden.

  • 20 Feb 2018 2:36 PM | Kathi McKeown (Administrator)

    The Fall-Winter 2017 edition of KDC's member publication, Common Defense, is available on the KDC website under the Members Only section.  You'll have to login to access the publication.

  • 16 Feb 2018 5:08 PM | Kathi McKeown (Administrator)

    Angela L. Edwards to be named Chief Executive Officer of Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company of Kentucky  

    Louisville, KY – Angela L. Edwards will join Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company of Kentucky on February 5th.  She will assume the position of Chief Executive Officer on July 1, 2018. 

    During this interim period Ms. Edwards will work closely with Asa P. “Pete” Gullett, Lawyers Mutual’s current Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, the company staff, and the Board of Directors. Upon assuming the position of Chief Executive Officer, and in partnership with the Board of Directors, Ms. Edwards will be responsible for company policy, planning, and directing day-to-day company operations.

    Mr. Gullett will step down from his position on July 1st. He will continue to work at Lawyers Mutual as assistant claims counsel, offer CLE presentations, and be a resource on legal malpractice matters for Kentucky lawyers. 

    Lawyers Mutual President Ruth Baxter, said, “The Board and staff are pleased to welcome Ms. Edwards.  Her leadership and experience in litigation, malpractice defense, and finance ensure a strong foundation for understanding company operations and the unique mission of the company to serve the Kentucky Bar.  We are pleased that Pete Gullett will continue to offer his expertise and service to the organization in his new role as assistant claims counsel.”

    Prior to joining Lawyers Mutual, Ms. Edwards was a partner in the Litigation Department of Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP.  She practiced in the areas of ERISA litigation, commercial litigation, and accountant and attorney malpractice defense litigation.  Ms. Edwards received a juris doctorate degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law and her bachelor’s degree in Finance from Transylvania University.   She currently serves on the Visiting Committee of the University of Kentucky College Of Law.  She is on the Board of Regents for Transylvania University, and the Board of Trustees for the University of Kentucky.  She has served as a commissioner of the Executive Branch of the Ethics Commission and President of the Louisville Bar Association. 

    Located in Louisville, Lawyers Mutual Insurance of Kentucky (LMICK) is the only professional liability insurance company created by Kentucky lawyers for Kentucky lawyers. Since issuing its first policy in 1987, Lawyers Mutual has stayed true to its fundamental mission of assuring that Kentucky lawyers have available liability insurance at competitive rates, provide outstanding claims service, and support the Kentucky Bar with risk management information and CLE programs, featuring ethics and malpractice prevention themes.

    For more information, contact Nancy Meyers at 800-800-6101 or visit

  • 16 Feb 2018 1:35 PM | Kathi McKeown (Administrator)

    DRI Submits Amicus Brief with Supreme Court in China Agritech Inc. v. Michael Resh, et al.

    Seeks Overturn of Lower Court Decision Involving Tolling of Statutes of Limitations

    CHICAGO – (February 7, 2018) — DRI-The Voice of the Defense Bar has filed an amicus curiae brief in the United States Supreme Court, urging the Court to overturn a Ninth Circuit opinion expanding the decades-old doctrine for tolling of limitations periods on individual claims while the putative class action was pending and until certification was denied. The brief was filed by DRI’s Center for Law and Public Policy.

    Decades ago, the Supreme Court created a limited equitable tolling rule for federal class actions. Under American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah, (1974), and later in Crown, Cork, & Seal Co. v. Parker, (1983), the filing of a timely putative class action under Rule 23 pauses the limitations clock for individual prospective class members until class certification is decided. If certification is denied, each individual plaintiff has whatever is left of the limitations period to seek relief on his or her own behalf. The Court found that this rule serves the efficiency goal of Rule 23 by preventing multiple protective suits by individuals before the statute of limitations expires. American Pipe tolling, as originally conceived, is of limited duration, and therefore reflects what the Court then believed to be an equitable balancing of competing interests.

    This Ninth Circuit’s decision, however, expanded this doctrine to allow an individual whose limitations period was tolled during the pendency of an earlier action that was denied class treatment to file a new action, not as an individual action only—as addressed in American Pipe—but as a putative class action. The Ninth Circuit’s ruling therefore permits the indefinite suspension of statutes of limitation by class action plaintiffs through repetitive, serial class action filings.

    The potential for abuse and unfairness inherent in the “stacked” tolling that the Ninth Circuit’s approach allows is considerable. A business that defeats class certification achieves no finality, even if the federal statutory limitations period has expired. The plaintiffs’ counsel (or new counsel) may try again and again, shopping the case from judge to judge in hopes of obtaining a better result or coercing the defendant to settle to buy peace. Individuals who through lack of diligence or strategy failed to seek relief in timely fashion can have their claims “carried along” by successive class action filings indefinitely. And the businesses that are the primary target of class actions have no fixed date after which they can count on being able to close their books on potentially devastating financial exposure.                    

    DRI’s brief urges the Court to overturn this harmful precedent, which ignores the equitable principles and necessary balancing of interests that gave rise to American Pipe tolling in the first place. As the brief explains, class actions cast an ominous cloud over businesses, increasing uncertainty over litigation risk and exposure, often pressuring businesses to settle even non-meritorious claims. Relying on actual survey data, DRI’s brief highlights these and other negative consequences to American businesses and the economy from a rule indefinitely extending statutes of limitation for class action filings.

    Brief co-authors were Robert L. Wise, Bowman and Brooke, Richmond, VA, and Susan E. Burnett of Bowman and Brooke LLP, Austin, TX, with assistance from Amanda Heitz. The co-authors are available for interview or expert comment through the contact information above.

    The complete text of the brief can be found here.


    About DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar

    For more than fifty-five years, DRI has been the voice of the defense bar, advocating for 22,000 defense attorneys, commercial trial attorneys, and corporate counsel and defending the integrity of the civil judiciary. A thought leader, DRI provides world-class legal education, deep expertise for policy-makers, legal resources, and networking opportunities to facilitate career and law firm growth. For more information, log on to

  • 16 Feb 2018 12:45 PM | Kathi McKeown (Administrator)

    2018 DRI Law Student Diversity Scholarships

    Application Deadline is Friday, March 30, 2018

     DRI announces its annual Law Student Diversity Scholarship program, open to rising (2018–19) second- and third-year African American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, LGBT and multi-racial students. All rising second- and third-year female law students are also eligible, regardless of race or ethnicity. Any other rising second- and third-year law students who come from backgrounds that would add to the cause of diversity, regardless of race or gender, are eligible to apply. Students who are members of the American Association for Justice (AAJ), law school or law student members of AAJ, or students otherwise affiliated with or employed by AAJ are not eligible for DRI Law Student Diversity Scholarships. 

    To qualify for this scholarship, a candidate must be a full-time student. Evening students also qualify for consideration if they have completed one-third or more of the total credit hours required for a degree by the applicant’s law school. The goal of these scholarships is to provide financial assistance to two worthy law students from ABA-accredited law schools to promote, in a tangible way, the DRI Diversity Statement of Principle. 

    Two scholarships in the amount of $10,000 each will be awarded to applicants who best meet the following criteria: 

    • Demonstrated academic excellence
    • Service to the profession
    • Service to the community
    • Service to the cause of diversity

    Applications must be received by DRI no later than Friday, March 30, 2018. 


    The 2018 Law Student Diversity Scholarship winners will be notified in advance and officially announced at the DRI Diversity for Success Seminar and Corporate ExpoJune 14-15, at the Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, in Chicago, IL. Click on the image for more information. 


  • 06 Feb 2018 9:44 AM | Kathi McKeown (Administrator)

    KDC welcomes its newest member, Joseph Taylor Whitaker of Porter, Banks, Baldwin & Shaw, PLLC, Paintsville.  Mr. Whitaker is a University of Kentucky Law School graduates and practices in the areas of Appellate, Auto, Bad Faith, Business Litigation, Civil Rights, Construction, Contract, Education, Employment, General Liability, Government Entity, Insurance Coverage, Medical Malpractice, Municipal, Premises & Product Liability, Professional Liability, Property, Tort, Trucking, Utility and Workers' Comp.  He is sponsored by KDC President-Elect, Darrin Banks.

  • 27 Jan 2018 10:59 AM | Kathi McKeown (Administrator)

    KDC welcomes its newest member, Aaron R. Klein of Ward, Hocker & Thornton, PLLC, Louisville.  Mr. Klein graduated from Belmont University College of Law and practices in the areas of Auto, Business Litigation, Commercial, General Liability, Insurance, Premises, Proper & Tort.  He is sponsored by KDC member, Jarad Key.

  • 17 Jan 2018 12:38 PM | Kathi McKeown (Administrator)


    Legal News

    Supreme Court Update
    Republished with the permission of the Mayer Brown Supreme Court Docket Report.

    On January 12, 2018, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in four cases of interest to the business community, described below.

    Patent Law—Damages for Profits Lost Abroad
    WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp., No. 16-1011

    A party commits patent infringement if it supplies “components of a patented invention” “from the United States,” knowing or intending that the components will be combined “outside of the United States” in a manner that “would infringe the patent if such combination occurred within the United States.” 35 U.S.C. § 271(f). The Federal Circuit has held that a plaintiff that successfully proves a claim under this provision is not entitled to the lost profits normally available to patent owners who prevail on infringement claims. That court’s view is that even when Congress has overridden the presumption against extraterritorial application of a statute in creating liability (as it did with § 271(f)), the presumption must be applied a second time to restrict damages. The Supreme Court has granted certiorari to resolve the question of “[w]hether the court of appeals erred in holding that lost profits arising from prohibited combinations occurring outside of the United States are categorically unavailable in cases where patent infringement is proven under 35 U.S. § 271(f).”

    Appointments Clause—Classification of Administrative Law Judges
    Lucia v. SEC, No. 17-130

    Under the Constitution’s Appointments Clause, the president “shall nominate and, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint . . . Officers of the United States.” Securities and Exchange Commission administrative law judges are generally selected by Commission staff, even though these judges preside over trial-like adversarial hearings. The Supreme Court has granted certiorari to decide “[w]hether administrative law judges of the Securities and Exchange Commission are officers of the United States within the meaning of the appointments clause.” The circuit courts have split 5–5 on this question.

    Dormant Commerce Clause—Taxation of Internet Sales
    South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., No. 17-494

    In 1967, the Supreme Court held that the Constitution’s dormant Commerce Clause prohibits a state from requiring catalog retailers to collect sales taxes on sales into the state unless the retailer is “physically present” there. But in 1977, the Court held that only a “substantial nexus” was necessary for other state taxes affecting interstate commerce. The petitioners in Wayfair ask the Supreme Court to reconsider the “physical presence” rule for sales taxes, arguing that its impact has “exploded with the rapid growth of online commerce.” The Supreme Court granted certiorari on the question of whether it should “abrogate” the “sales-tax-only, physical-presence requirement.”

    Bankruptcy Law—Fraud Exception to Discharge
    Lamar, Archer & Cofrin, LLP v. Appling, No. 16-1215

    The Bankruptcy Code prohibits the discharge of “any debt . . . to the extent obtained by . . . actual fraud, other than a statement respecting the debtor’s . . . financial condition.” 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2). Circuit courts have split 3–3 as to whether a statement about a particular asset can qualify as a “statement respecting the debtor’s . . . financial condition.” The Supreme Court has agreed to resolve that split. Mayer Brown LLP represents the respondent.


  • 15 Jan 2018 12:05 PM | Kathi McKeown (Administrator)
    Many thanks to the many KDC members who participated in our survey.  A lot of great information was received and will be used at our upcoming annual Long Range Planning meeting being held on February 3 in Lexington.

    The KDC members whose names were drawn to win $25 gift cards to their choice of Amazon, Target, Starbucks, Kroger or Shell are:

    Courtney Rosser

    Zac Richards

    James Fischer

    Brad Hume

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