DRI Australia Conferences on “Frivolous Lawsuits”

August 26, 2004

The Defense Research Institute, which groups some 22,000 defense lawyers, announced two upcoming conferences in Australia focused on the threat “frivolous lawsuits” may pose outside the U.S.

The DRI noted that there are “growing fears that the frivolous lawsuits plaguing US courtrooms will head to Australia and the Pacific Rim.” It hopes to equip “lawyers with litigation tips to combat the potential suits costing corporations billions of dollars in punitive damages awards each year.”

The DRI’s international liability conferences will address those concerns on November 8th in a seminar to be held at The American Club in Sydney and on November 10th at a seminar at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, MCG Yarra Park in Melbourne.

“Punitive damages are a prominent feature of tort liability,” stated DRI President-Elect Richard T. Boyette. “Enormous punitive awards, such as the $2.3 million verdict against McDonald’s for a women spilling hot coffee in her lap, or the $80 million levied against Hughes Aircraft fuel the perception that damage awards are, in the words of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, ‘out of control.'”

“DRI’s conference enables lawyers and company executives to prepare for outlandish lawsuits,” commented Doug Houser, Program Chair. “This open forum allows litigators to learn firsthand from the American professionals who have defended targeted corporations.”

The meeting will feature former DRI President Sheryl Willert, one of the United States’ foremost employment law lawyers, who will present the keynote address. She will use her expertise to discuss the latest, most controversial cases filed by the plaintiffs’ bar, and will highlight the areas Australian and Pacific Rim corporations and employers are most vulnerable when conducting business in the U.S.

For event and registration information visit DRI at: http://www.dri.org.

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