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June 2016

San Francisco Partner Featured Speaker at DRI’s Drug and Medical Device Seminar

San Francisco partner, Jack “Skip” McCowan, joined a panel of four legal experts to present “TED-Style Talks: Looking Back to Move Forward” at the Drug and Medical Device Seminar of DRI The Voice of the Defense Bar in Chicago on Thursday, May 19, 2016. The panelists, touted as "the deans of the drug and medical device bar," offered insight and wisdom on what they have learned in practicing law, "how to make lemons out of lemonade," and the things they wish they had known when they started.

McCowan, the current chair of DRI’s Center for Law and Public Policy, sounded the alarm for the 700 lawyers in attendance, both inside and outside counsel, on the vanishing civil jury trial during the last 50 years. As he guided his audience through the history of the demise of the jury trial, he also raised the present day challenges all citizens face from the failure of many states to provide sustainable funding for their courts. McCowan’s presentation not only informed his audience but summoned a call to action for all lawyers and non-lawyers to learn more about these fundamental institutions that safeguard our democracy and to get involved in their states to reverse these two dangerous trends.

Other featured panelists presenting with McCowan were: Tim Pratt, general counsel of Boston Scientific, who spoke on what he styled are the five keys to being a great leader; Christy Jones, a preeminent trial lawyer from Butler Snow in Jackson, Mississippi, who spoke on the courage and risk-taking behavior needed to be a great trial lawyer; and Malini Moorthy, vice president & associate general counsel and the head of U.S. litigation for Bayer Corporation, who spoke on the importance of diversity and inclusion in law firms and corporations, from her personal experience in rising to the top of her profession.

The two-day seminar was held at the Chicago Marriott on May 19-20, 2016. In addition to eye-opening presentations from “the deans of the drug and medical device bar,” attendees heard insights from more than 10 in-house counsel and the Honorable Richard A. Posner of the United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

The seminar was designed to educate its audience about the future of drug warnings, 3-D printing: implications for regulation and litigation, the First Amendment and off-label promotion, closing arguments from around the country and what you need to know about biosimilars.

In addition to McCowan's contributions, Gordon & Rees co-sponsored the Diversity Luncheon's featured speaker, Andrea Zopp, candidate for the United States Senate.

McCowan is a former chair of DRI’s Drug and Medical Device Committee and has presented many times at its annual seminar and has been active on its steering committee for more than twenty years.

For more information about this seminar or future DRI seminars, please click here.

Jack B. McCowan Jr.