• 14 Jan 2018 10:39 AM | Kathi McKeown (Administrator)
    Amicus Update

    DRI Submits Amicus Brief Urging Supreme Court to Review Decision on Admissibility of Expert Testimony

    On December 20, 2017, DRI filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the petition for a writ of certiorari in Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Wendell, No. 17-747. The brief was filed through DRI’s Center for Law and Public Policy.

    The case raises two questions concerning the admissibility of expert testimony, a subject with enormous practical significance for litigation in federal and state courts nationwide. Almost 25 years ago, in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), the Supreme Court articulated standards for federal trial courts to apply in determining whether an expert should be permitted to offer opinion testimony. In keeping with the trial court’s “gatekeeper” role in determining whether expert testimony should be admitted or excluded, the Court held a few years later that decisions on expert-admissibility would be reviewed on appeal under the abuse-of-discretion standard.

    At issue in Teva v. Wendell, is the proposed testimony of two doctors on the issue of causation in a case alleging that prescription pharmaceutical drugs manufactured and distributed by defendants caused a patient to develop an exceedingly rare and aggressive form of cancer. The district court granted defendant Teva’s motion for summary judgment because the testimony of plaintiffs’ causation experts was not reliable and therefore not admissible under Federal Rule of Evidence 702. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded. In the Ninth Circuit’s view, “Daubert poses no bar” and the contested testimony “should have been admitted as expert testimony.” The appellate court reached that conclusion by applying de novo review to the question “whether particular evidence falls within the scope of [Rule 702].”

    DRI’s amicus brief urges the Court to grant review to resolve circuit court conflicts on both questions presented in the petition: (1) the standard for appellate review of expert-admissibility rulings, and (2) the standards for determining when proposed expert testimony is sufficiently reliable to be presented to a jury. DRI explains that these issues have broad application to litigation across the country; that the issues have enormous practical significance given the pivotal—often dispositive—role that expert testimony plays in complex litigation; and that nationwide uniformity is essential to “the fair, orderly administration of justice.” The brief explains that Supreme Court review is also warranted because the issues “affect counsel for plaintiffs and defendants (whether they support or oppose an expert in a particular case).”

    DRI’s brief was authored by Jerrold J. Ganzfried, founder of GANZFRIED LAW in Washington, D.C. Mr. Ganzfried is a fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, and is a former chair and current member of the DRI Amicus Committee.

  • 08 Jan 2018 11:11 AM | Kathi McKeown (Administrator)

    KDC member, Barry Miller, will be presenting at a Lunch and Learn on February 1st pertaining to Law Firms and Cybersecurity.  One hour of free CLE and lunch.  Click below to learn more.  (This is not a KDC event, but merely promoting Barry's presentation!)

    Advantage Lunch February 2018 - Email.jpg

  • 08 Jan 2018 10:47 AM | Kathi McKeown (Administrator)
    KDC member, Gregory Funfsinn, is now practicing with Hicks & Funfsinn, PLLC, Lexington.  His firm is located at 431 S. Broadway, Suite 331.
  • 27 Dec 2017 2:32 PM | Kathi McKeown (Administrator)

    Congratulations to three KDC members that were named 2018 Super Lawyers Rising Stars -- Jamie Dittert, Langdon Worley & Stephanie Wurdock.  All three attorneys practice with Sturgill, Turner, Baker & Moloney, PLLC, Lexington.

  • 27 Dec 2017 2:31 PM | Kathi McKeown (Administrator)

    Congratulations to KDC member, Tracy Prewitt, who was selected as one of the Top 25 Super Lawyers for Kentucky. Additional congratulations go to her partner, Don Brown, Chris O'Bryan and Gerry Toner for being named to the Top 25 Super Lawyers for Kentucky.

  • 27 Nov 2017 9:31 AM | Kathi McKeown (Administrator)

    KDC welcomes its newest member Cullen Patrick Rooney of O'Bryan, Brown & Toner, PLLC, Louisville.  Mr. Rooney is a Vanderbilt Law School graduate and practices in the areas of General Liability, Insurance, Medical Malpractice and Professional Liability.  He is sponsored by KDC member, Scott Burroughs.

  • 20 Nov 2017 9:58 AM | Kathi McKeown (Administrator)

    For those KDC members who really enjoy photography, we are looking for some photos of courthouses located in your cities and counties. Our graphic designer, Jeff Friebert, has provided the following COURTHOUSE PHOTO REQUEST.pdf for guidance and to assist you with the photos.  We look forward to receiving your photos now or in the near future. Thanks for your participation in this fun project.

  • 20 Nov 2017 9:57 AM | Kathi McKeown (Administrator)

    KDC member, Barry Miller, is presenting "Law Firms and Cybersecurity." The presentation is on December 6 at Malone's Meeting Place, and is free, including lunch. To learn more about this presentation, please click this link or contact Barry at his office (859) 899.8499 or

  • 13 Nov 2017 3:56 PM | Kathi McKeown (Administrator)

    For those of you who are members of DRI, check out the latest issue of For the Defense, November, 2017.  On page 6, KDC Director, Jeffrey Lowe was elected a National Director for DRI.  Congratulations to Jeff!!

    If you go to page 30, there is an article The "Go To" Resources on Management Issues authored by Stacy L. Moon who just spoke at the KDC Seminar last Thursday and Friday.  Following Stacy's article are several interesting articles.

    If you are interested in joining DRI, please feel free to contact KDC's Membership Chair, Todd Page of Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC, Lexington, who will be happy to answer any questions you have pertaining to DRI.

  • 07 Nov 2017 4:51 PM | Kathi McKeown (Administrator)

    Looking forward to seeing many of you at the KDC Fall Seminar taking place at the Marriott Griffin Gate in Lexington. Please don't forget to visit our Sponsors while you are there -- they're a huge part of KDC's success!

    Jillian House has organized a great seminar for Thursday afternoon, with three of the four speakers being KDC members: KDC members Katherine Kerns Vesely (also a KDC Director) and Kristen Fowler will present "Just What the Doctor Ordered" relative to Kentucky enacting Medical Review Panels. KDC member, Jamie Dittert, will present "Myth or Fact? "ALI Restatement of the Law/Liability Insurance" Edition". And closing out Thursday afternoon, our DRI Sponsored Speaker, Stacy Moon, will present "The Tween Years".

    Darrin Banks has organized a great line-up of speakers as well on Friday. DRI Sponsored Speaker, Stacy Moon, will present the entire morning program: "The Business of Law: There's No Business Like Law Business," "Managing That Business: I Want To Be A Manager (All Apologies to Mel Brooks)" and "Metrics Simplified (The Do-Re-Mis of Metrics).

    After the morning session is complete, we will head to lunch in the Bluegrass Pavilion where our Award Recipients and others will be recognized. Congratulations to the 2017 KDC Award Recipients: Diplomat: David A. Nunery (Retired); Defense Lawyers of the Year: Ashley K. Brown and Melanie Sublett Marrs; and our Young Lawyer is Tia Combs. After all recognitions are complete, we will have the KDC Annual Meeting.

    For the afternoon session, Darrin has lined up Barron Henley of Affinity Consulting Group to present "Legal Tech Security Measures Every Lawyer Must Take Under the Rules of Professional Conduct" (ETHICS!) and "Technology Planning for a Law Firm." Barron comes highly recommend by his counterpart, Paul Unger. Closing out the 2017 Fall Seminar will be four KDC members, Craig Reinhardt, Jess Baird, Norm Harned and Patricia LeMeur. Their panel discussion "A Kentucky Defense Firm, to Infinity and Beyond! Blazing a New Trail. A Discussion on the Direction for Defense Firms in the Next Decade."

    It's never too late to register. Go to and you can sign up there. Or just walk-in on Thursday or Friday if you have a change in plans.

Log in
Kentucky Defense Counsel, Inc. * P.O. Box 127 * Harrods Creek, KY 40027-0127  ** (502) 228-9256 **

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software