Friday, October 15, 2010

"Conflict of interest" at Legal Reform Summit

Reporters Joe Nocera of The New York Times and Norah O'Donnell of NBC News are moderators at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Legal Reform Summit. I sent them the following letter about a "conflict of interest" at the conference:

Sent: 10/15/2010 7:33:47 A.M. Central Daylight Time
Subj: "Conflict of interest" at US Chamber of Commerce Legal Reform Summit

October 15, 2010


Mr. Joe Nocera
The New York Times
620 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10018

Ms. Norah O'Donnell
NBC News
60 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10012

Re: "Conflict of interest" at US Chamber of Commerce Legal Reform Summit

Dear Mr. Nocera and Ms. O'Donnell,

This is in follow up to my previous email/letter to you.

Most of the panelists at the Legal Reform Summit are lawyers from large law firms. These law firms make tens of millions of dollars in legal fees from representing the corporations which are defendants in the class action lawsuits and other litigation that the US Chamber of Commerce and the Institute for Legal Reform find objectionable and regarding which they believe legal reform is badly needed.

Given the financial interest that these panelists and their law firms have in the objectionable litigation in question, and in its continuation, one can wonder about the extent to which this "conflict of interest" will color what the panelists are willing to say at the Legal Reform Summit.

I am sure there are reasons for the Chamber's selection of its panelists at the Legal Reform Summit. You, as reporters, however, might be skeptical about the fulsomeness of the presentations you hear at the conference. I hope you will think about this.


Robert Shattuck
Birmingham, AL

cc. Ms. Lisa Rickard (via email)

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