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September 2013

Gordon & Rees’s Skip McCowan Appointed Vice Chair of DRI Center for Law and Public Policy

The Defense Research Institute, the leading organization of defense attorneys and in-house counsel, has appointed Gordon & Rees San Francisco partner Jack “Skip” McCowan as vice chair of DRI’s Center for Law and Public Policy. McCowan is serving a three-year term as a DRI national director.

In a September 13 letter to McCowan announcing his vice chair appointment, DRI president-elect J. Michael Weston noted, “The work of your committee is vital to the continued growth of DRI, and the future success of the organization is dependent in large part on the vision, energy and focus of volunteers like yourself.”

McCowan’s appointment is effective at the conclusion of the 2013 DRI Annual Meeting, to be held October 16-20 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. He is the immediate past chair of DRI's Drug and Medical Device Committee and has been a member of the Drug & Medical Device Steering Committee for many years.

McCowan’s practice involves drug, medical device and other product liability litigation, environmental litigation, and commercial litigation, including unfair business practices and trade secrets matters. He has represented companies in federal and state court trials throughout California and in other states. From 2003 through 2010, McCowan chaired Gordon & Rees’s Diversity Committee and was instrumental in helping the firm develop a formal plan that resulted in a steady increase in the hiring and promotion of minority and women attorneys. As a result, the firm received DRI’s Law Firm Diversity Award in 2005. Among his many honors, in 2012, McCowan was recognized by Who's Who Legal International as a "Most Highly Regarded Individual" in product liability defense, a distinction awarded to only 10 attorneys worldwide for outstanding achievement in their respective practice areas. 

Established in 2012, the DRI Center for Law and Public Policy is a think tank that serves as the public voice of DRI on judicial issues of import to the defense bar. Through scholarship, legal experience and advocacy, it contributes to the national discussion of substantive law and constitutional issues, and the independence and integrity of the judicial system.