Get Involved in a DRI Committee

Posted on May 26, 2009 03:00 by Michael J. Miller

Dale Carnegie provided his tips on How to Win Friends and Influence People more than seventy years ago. (See http://www.westegg.com/unmaintained/carnegie/win-friends.html#two). If he were to speak at a DRI Seminar today, I think he would add this advice: “Get Involved.”

Regardless of the Committee, there are numerous opportunities for attorneys to become involved in DRI. I was reminded again of the benefits of becoming involved when I attended the DRI Drug and Medical Device Seminar in New York earlier this month. There is always a feeling of collegiality among friends at that Seminar. One of the best ways to get involved is to attend the Committee’s business meeting at the Seminar in May or the Committee’s meeting at DRI’s annual conference. Take time to introduce yourself to the Committee Chair and Co-chair. Volunteer to write an article or to post a blog for the Committee. Introduce yourself to the Committee’s Publication Chair and offer to contribute. Reach out to other attorneys on the Committee and get to know them. As you do, you will get to know many wonderful attorneys and you will increase your own professional network. Get involved!

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Drug and Medical Device Seminar

Posted on May 19, 2009 07:35 by Michael J. Miller

If it is May, then it must be time for the annual Drug and Medical Device Seminar. This year’s Seminar wrapped up last Friday (May 15). In typical fashion, the Seminar was a huge success. The economic experts who recently announced the recession is ending appear to be correct as New York (and the Seminar) seemed as lively and energetic as usual.

I attended the Young Lawyer’s Breakout Session Thursday afternoon. The Session featured four excellent young lawyer speakers. Jennifer Saulino, an attorney from Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., led off with an informative discussion of Government Investigations. Jennifer stated that a civil defense lawyer should understand the importance of coordinating the defense of litigation with any possible or pending criminal actions against anyone involved in the defendant company. Jennifer reminded us of the possibility that some witnesses may be asked to testify in both criminal and civil matters. This is an area where young lawyers can make a real difference by staying on top of legal blogs to find out what potential witnesses are saying about a particular company or litigation.

Andrew Johnson, an attorney from Bradley Arant in Birmingham, Alabama, taught about the importance of interviewing the non-party prescribing health care provider in a drug and medical device case. Andy emphasized the most important witness in a drug and medical device case may be the prescribing health care provider. Andy reminded us that we need to check the state law of the state to see if ex parte contact of a prescribing health care provider is allowed. Andy reminded that many states allow ex parte contact; many other states do not.

Michele Choe, an attorney from Sidley Austin in Chicago, discussed the importance of early case assessments. I enjoyed Michele’s reminder to think like a plaintiff in order to evaluate all possible theories of liability a plaintiff may advance in a particular case.

Amanda Kitts, an attorney from Nelson Mullins in Columbia, South Carolina, provided great tips on how to prepare a sale representative for his or her deposition. I particularly enjoyed Amanda’s video clips where associates in her office portrayed sales representatives in their depositions. Amanda’s use of the video clips emphasized her point of the critical importance of preparing sales representatives in their depositions.

The Young Lawyer Breakout Session wrapped up with an excellent panel of three in-house speakers who answered questions on topics concerning “The Life of a Case.” The panel was comprised of Jason Maxwell, Vice President and Associate General Counsel—Litigation of Cardinal Health, Katrina Reinhardt, in-house counsel with Dow Corning Corporation, and Megan Wynne, Vice President of Legal Affairs for I-Flow Corporation. I had the pleasure of serving as the moderator of the panel discussion. Our panel provided excellent insight into numerous topics such as becoming more involved as a young lawyer, developing relationships with in-house attorneys, staying on top of written discovery responses for in-house counsel clients, preparing for mediation and getting trial experience. Thanks again to Jason, Megan and Katrina for sharing their time and expertise.

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