It’s Been an Honor: Burton LeBlanc on His Time Spent as President of the American Association for Justice

July 25, 2014  |  Other

Guest Post by Baron & Budd Shareholder and American Association of Justice President Burton Leblanc

Each year, AAJ holds an annual convention to elect someone to serve as the president for the year. I was honored to be selected as the president of AAJ for the 2013-2014 term.

Now that my time as president has come to a conclusion, I would like to take a moment to give my thanks to the members of AAJ and spotlight the achievements they have made this year to protect the rights of people around the country against powerful interests.

We had a lot on our plate, from increasing awareness of forced arbitration to proposed changes on discovery rules and even monitoring a proposal to revise the Toxic Substances Control Act. And I believe that we stepped up.

In the last year, here is a quick wrap-up of some of the accomplishments we have made with AAJ this past year:

Forced Arbitration

With the website and accompanying grassroots campaign Take Justice Back (.com), we worked to fight forced arbitration by restoring accountability and protecting people’s right to have access to justice.

As Take Justice Back explains, “our environment is cleaner, our medicine is better and our cars are safer today, thanks to Americans who stood up to big corporations and held them accountable in court.”

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

We fought a proposal to change the rules of discovery. By encouraging many members to testify before the committee and created an awareness campaign that lead to over one thousand comments against the proposed changes. A number of changes to limit the number of depositions, the number of interrogatories, and admissions have been dropped from the proposal.

Toxic Substance Control Act

The first draft of a legislative proposal to revise the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) was filled with provisions that could wipe out state laws that help to protect our health and environment. AAJ created a number of legal principles that must be upheld in efforts to reform TSCA in order to ensure public health safeguards are maintained and TSCA is improved to better protect Americans from dangerous chemicals.

While my time as president of AAJ has come to a conclusion, I look forward to continuing to do all I can to help and support AAJ in the coming years. There is no other organization like AAJ, standing up for the rights of all Americans every day on Capitol Hill. Because of that, I consider myself a lifelong member and I will do my best to continue to serve the organization I hold dear.

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