Girard Gibbs Partner and Consumer Lawyer Eric Gibbs to Present at 2013 AAJ Annual Convention

The American Association for Justice (AAJ) will host its 2013 Annual Convention from July 20-23, 2013, at the Union Square Hilton in San Francisco. Girard Gibbs partner and consumer lawyer Eric Gibbs will serve as a speaker during the event.

The AAJ’s Annual Convention is an opportunity for leading Plaintiffs’ lawyers to share the latest developments in their practice areas. Mr. Gibbs will speak to the Class Action Litigation Group on July 23rd from 2-5:15 p.m. His presentation will provide an overview of recent “Class Certification Developments in Consumer Litigation.”

For more information about the program, including its guest speakers and agenda, please visit the 2013 AAJ Annual Convention website.

Girard Gibbs Sponsors the Women Trial Lawyers Caucus Brunch at the 2013 AAJ Annual Convention

Girard Gibbs LLP sponsored the Women Trial Lawyers Caucus (WTLC) Brunch on Sunday, July 21, 2013 at Hotel Nikko in San Francisco. The brunch is an annual event held as part of the 2013 American Association for Justice (AAJ) Annual Convention.

Attendees from across the country packed into the venue to hear keynote speaker Melba Beals, Ph.D., a journalist, professor, and member of the Little Rock Nine. Ms. Beals answered questions and recounted stories of her life to the standing room only crowd.

During the event, the WTLC presented its prestigious Marie Lambert Award to AAJ member and prominent trial lawyer Kathleen Flynn Peterson. This award is given to a female attorney who believes in the AAJ’s mission, and also exemplifies integrity and dignity in the legal profession.

Shauna Madison, a third-year law student at the University of San Francisco School of Law, received the Mike Eidson Scholarship at the lunch as well. Her scholarship application stood out among approximately 100 applicants dedicated to upholding the principles of the Constitution and the United States justice system. The Mike Eidson Scholarship is traditionally given to a rising 3rd year female law school student (or a 4th year in a night program) who has demonstrated a commitment to pursuing a career as a plaintiffs’ lawyer or criminal defense lawyer.

“The Women’s Caucus brunch is an important event that promotes diversity in the legal profession and sheds light on issues that affect women and their practices,” said Girard Gibbs partner A.J. De Bartolomeo, who is an active member of the AAJ and officer on the WTLC’s executive committee. “It is inspiring to be in the presence of such an accomplished group of women who are true leaders in their fields, and our firm is very pleased to support such a great event.”

For more information on the AAJ or the WTLC, please visit the AAJ’s Women Trial Lawyers Caucus website.

Girard Gibbs Co-Sponsors Duke Law Center for Judicial Studies “Future of MDL” Conference

Girard Gibbs LLP will co-sponsor the Duke Law Center for Judicial Studies “Future of MDL” Conference, on May 2-3, 2013 at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel. The invitation-only event is part of the Duke Conference: Bench-Bar-Academy Distinguished Lawyers’ Series.

Multi-District Litigation (MDL) is a mechanism by which similar lawsuits in multiple jurisdictions are consolidated before one court for pretrial proceedings. The seven judges appointed to serve on the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation play a vital role in the MDL process, as they decide whether cases should be consolidated and select the judge(s) and court to conduct the proceedings. The goals of the MDL Panel are to conserve the time and resources of the parties, their counsel, and the judiciary, as well as foster consistent rulings in lawsuits with common legal issues. The “Future of MDL” Conference is a continuation of the ongoing interchange on improvements to the MDL process between the bench and bar.

The program will focus on a recent project to evaluate the MDL process and proposals to improve it, as well as a recent survey of experienced MDL lawyers. The conference agenda will also include six sessions with panel discussions on the following topics: Assignment of Cases to MDL; Selection and Location of MDL Judge; Selection of Counsel; Common Benefit Fund/Attorney Fees; Remands; and Federal-State Court Coordination.

John Kehoe Presents at NCPERS on the Implications of Detroit’s Bankruptcy Petition on State and Local Pension Funds

John A. Kehoe, partner at Girard Gibbs LLP, appeared as a speaker at the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement System (NCPERS) Public Safety Conference on October 27, 2013, in Rancho Mirage, California.   Mr. Kehoe presented on the implications of Detroit’s bankruptcy filing upon local public pension funds.

Detroit sought bankruptcy protection in July 2013, marking the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history.  As Detroit looks for ways to reduce its outstanding debt from $18 billion to $2 billion, municipal employees and retirees may end up bearing much of the cost.  Detroit’s bankruptcy filing may change how local public pension plans are funded, benefits are guaranteed, retirement plans are designed, and how plan funds are invested.

Mr. Kehoe’s presentation addressed the wider implications for public pension plans should the federal bankruptcy judge reduce vested benefits, and whether federal bankruptcy law trumps state constitutional pension protections.  The presentation also focused on the root causes of Detroit’s bankruptcy filing, and whether Detroit’s Emergency Manager is relying on appropriate actuarial assumptions in determining the extent to which the pension plans are underfunded.  If Detroit’s bankruptcy results in cuts to pension benefits for city employees, it may potentially have a devastating impact for all municipal workers who are in or near retirement, and who have planned their futures based on those retirement promises.

Mr. Kehoe is a partner in Girard Gibbs’ New York office, specializing in the prosecution of securities and financial fraud cases on behalf of institutional clients and individual investors. Mr. Kehoe has served as court-appointed lead counsel or co-counsel in numerous securities class actions in state and federal courts throughout the United States.

NCPERS is the largest trade association for public sector pension funds, representing more than 550 funds throughout the United States and Canada.  It is a unique non-profit network of trustees, administrators, public officials and investment professionals who collectively manage nearly $3 trillion in pension assets held in trust for approximately 21 million public employees and retirees — including firefighters, law enforcement officers, teachers, and other public servants.

Matthew George to Present at Consumer Attorneys of California 2014 Class Action Seminar

On February 25, 2014, Matthew George will be a featured speaker at the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) 8th annual Class Action Seminar in San Francisco, CA. His program at the CAOC seminar will cover notable changes to state and federal privacy laws and recent trends in high-profile class action lawsuits that have been filed against retailers, social networks, and HMOs. Registration for the conference can be found here:

Mr. George represents plaintiffs in complex litigation, including employment, privacy, and consumer fraud cases. He previously presented on consumer privacy law during a Bridgeport Continuing Education seminar in December 2012 and has spoken at several conferences on legal issues ranging from arbitration to settlement strategies in complex cases. For the past three years Mr. George has been selected as a Rising Star by Northern California Super Lawyers and is also a member of the American Bar Association (ABA) and the Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF).

John Kehoe to Participate in Louisiana Trustees Educational Counsel’s Investment Education Symposium

Girard Gibbs LLP partner John Kehoe will participate in the upcoming Louisiana Trustees Educational Counsel’s (LATEC) Investment Education Symposium, February 26-28 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Mr. Kehoe will participate in a panel discussion examining fiduciary responsibilities and how to avoid conflicts of interest.  LATEC operates with a goal of encouraging and facilitating the education of its members to prepare them to execute their duties as trustees and fiduciaries.  Girard Gibbs is proud to be a member of LATEC and support their trustee members in their continuing education.