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3 Litig. Docket 1 (1997-1998)

handle is hein.journals/litigadoc3 and id is 1 raw text is: A PUBLICATION OF THE SECTION OF LITIGATION 9 AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION * FALL 1997 e VOLUME 3 NUMBER 1

A blueprint for the year to come

ere you are, a hard-working
( iT l. lawyer who happens to be a
.1 member of the ABA's Sec-
:Mi tion of Litigation. Some-
times you may wonder what
the Section has done for you lately.
Well, the new Section chair, Greg Joseph
of New York City, most definitely has a direct
answer to that question, lie has a blueprint
for the coming year that is aimed squarely at
helping individual litigators.
The flagship is going to he the ciil trial
practice standards, which are analogous to
the criminal justice standards that were
adopted 25 years ago and have been contin-
uously cited by the courts. Joseph gets
absolutely animated discussing this priori-
ty. They're out for public comment; a num-
ber ofjudges have said they've started
adopting them already. We eXnect to have
them in the ABA House of Delegates in Feb-
ruary at the Midyear Meeting.
Look on the Section's Web site under hot
topics to see the standards: http./www.abanet
Other issues that Joseph will be pressing

that affect trial Hwyers in their day-to-day
practice. are an attempt at getting the ABA
in general to adopt the Section's Code of
Civility is well as discovery reform. We
are intimately involved with that at the
advisory committee level, he says.
But the new chair understands that the
largest section in the AB3A has responsibili-
ties to tlhe larger legal community: The most
imlortant thing that we're dealing with as a
practical matter are the attacks on the fed-
eraljudiciary. We intend to respond because
judges can't respond for themselves. It's
rather incongruous that judges who are
attacked for not following the original intent
of the Constitution are then subjected to
threats of imleachment for bad decisions
and removal of lifetime tenure, both of
which are incompatible with the Constitu-
tion. The Declaration cites limited tenure as
a ground for revolution.
There's no question that Joseph is pas-
sionate about the issue: We have a crisis
there right now. We aren't getting judges
confirmed. There's been no cost-of-ling
increase in compensation for seven years.

Speaking of Capitol Hill, the new chair is
keeping an eye on other federal legislation:
The Independent Counsel Act is being sun-
setted. Congress is going to be looking at
this issue next spring and we will be there
with a proposal.
But if a Section member were to remind
Joseph of certain controversial positions
tlhe broader A1BA has taken in the last few
years, lie or she would have his full atten-
tion. What the Litigation Section can do is
focus the AB3A on issues that are law-relat-
ed. We now have issues that go to Capitol
Hill as ABA policy on which lawyers have
no sp:!cial expertise.
The Section, -Joseph emphasizes, is
focusing on litigation, on the courtroom.
'Thiings that lawyers not only clearly should be
heard on, but are the only people that should
be heard. Nobody else has the expertise. I
don't think we're going to be up there on the
Hill on issues that deal with international pol-
itics. The most important thing we can do as a
Section is to be directed and focused on Iho:se
things where we do have something to otfer.
- Ray DeLong

Make law, not war
._I    -_.   .

You may even have time for some sightseeing
when you help out CEELI. These great (locks
are in Prague, in the Czech Republic.

I lere's a scenario. You're an American la%yer,
off on an exotic trip to llussia to show them a
thing or two about how to do law. You're
meeting in it quiet room when you hear gun-
fire. Not just any gunfire -  tanks; shooting
on the parliament buildig. Cool, ell?
OK, we can't promnise this sort of excitement
ol every trip to Elstern Europe, but at least we
can gel you out oft le office for awhile.
Ilhw? It's called the Central and East
European Law Initiative, or CEELI. The See-
tion's liaison to this AB3A group is I)an Mar-
golis, Washil_ ol. lie' was the mian in
Moscow wheu le tanks openeul fire. l says
the CEIIA powers that be decided to end
Ihe consultat ion ita lad early and send the
Aumerican lawers honie.
CE'EII has its doors open fir iore voln-
teers. What's tile general approach? You go
abroad, often fort a year, and [tell) ai ministry
ill a developiug coUntlmy that has uext-to-uio
experience with how a legal sys lni sI uild
work. You're ani adviser who has lhe air fare
paid atd prohably live iuan aliarmieunt wit h a
stiietd; it's tot a unioiy-uakhig pioposit ion.
A lot of the ieople wh go fo ai yea atre
youg people,' Margolis says, associates, who
decide to take a sabbatical. AtI Ihe othr end
of lhe slli'ct riuI, soumie ofthe seliior lawy'rs
go. A year is quitei a comumi itiet, lhough tihey
do have proJcts for a hit li'S4 thaui a year - a


couple weeks in some cases.
So what kind of lawyer is CEELI looking
for? A glance at soii of the position
announcements gives an idea. As you know,
sole of the count ries inl question have a hit of
a prolblei with organized crime. A lot oftlbe
people in the Section have backgroumds as
prosecutors and (o criminal law, Margolis
says. lie adds that in spite of his experience in
Moscow, normally there is no real danger to
any of tlhese postings. CEEIA people are tint
unorially involved with those who get shot or
get t heir knees broken. Comforting words!
The Sec ion has areas of specially, rang-
ing from ant itrust to zoning, lit says. Any of
the people who ideltify Iheuiselves is spe-
cialists would hei ideal, i' adihition to their
litigation biackgriunds. lIe adds that clili-
Inertial law is a large area for CEEI.
-'Front personal experience, Margolis ctoiu-
chides, I think it's aiu unrivaled oplortunity
to help somebody develop a new legal systeil.
It's like writing on a ilank pice of lpaper. The
sys eis I hat vere ili place i I h-se coutrl ies
were uoi comiort ing to liiisiiess people. The
legal syi)'(tel was il ia shabillles. Part iipaiug
in that is it vely fulfillihg aid rewarding expe-
rience. It for-es you hack to think of lie fun-
daientals as you go through it,
To get information, call CEEI il l).C. at
202/fi12-175,1. I l

Docket gold
Hlumility is not exactly a distinguishing
characteristic of lawyers., or of Litigation
The Society of National Asoeiation Publi-
cations' (SNAP) 1097 EXCEL Awards compe-
tition bestowed on Litigation Docket its Gold
Award in the newspaper, general excel-
lence category. The top prize recognized
Litigation Docket for best writing, content,
graphic design and overall packaging.
In another competition, the tye-year-old
publication won an APEX'107 award for pub.
lication design excellence, That contest is
sponsored by Communications Concepts.
Litigation Docket is one of the Section of
Litigation's three flagship publications. The
others areLitigaion, a quarterly mag~azine,
and Litigation News, a bimonthly newsletter.
- Michael R Hyman

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