The Institute is a legal think tank dedicated to the cause of protecting the principal of access to the American Civil Justice System, including the critical right to trial by jury. The Institute was established in 1956 to build on the work of Roscoe Pound, who was the Dean of Harvard Law School from 1916 to 1936, and one of the law’s greatest thinkers and educators, a leading exponent of the sociological jurisprudence movement.
The institute promotes open ongoing dialogue with the academic and judicial communities and with the public on issues critical to protecting and strengthening the civil justice system. In offering a forum to state court judges, the Institute makes a serious effort to include in our programs points of view that are different from what you might hear at an educational seminar for US plaintiff’s lawyers. Pound always invite speakers who are not members of the Plaintiffs Bar, from which as you know most of the fellows of the Pound Institute come, or who have alternative points of view. In that spirit, the following were the illustrious and prestigious presenters and panelists for this year’s forum:
Justice Fred Lewis, Florida Supreme Court
Professor Charles Geyh, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
Chief Justice of California Supreme Court Honorable Tani Cantil-Sakauye
Mary Alice McLarty, concluding her service as AAJ President
Oliver Diaz, former Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court
Praveen Fernandes from Washington DC
David Biderman from San Francisco
James Bopp Jr. from Terra Haute
Ed Zebersky from Fort Lauderdale Florida
All comments in the discussion groups are anonymous. The forum is committed to candor and freewheeling discussion in the smaller groups. No attorneys other than faculty members are invited or allowed to attend. Only judges, paper presenters, panelists, group moderators, and foreign staff have access to the rooms. The group sessions are taped for the purpose of putting together a report of the forum that will be publish later, but none of the judge’s comments during the discussion groups, absolutely none, will be directly attributed to them personally or even to their home state by name in the forum report. Pound has published many reports and has not received a single complaint on this issue. The groups are encouraged to freely speak their minds, being confident that it is their thoughts, not their identities that will be published in the future. And if the matters being discussed are too close for comfort – then simply listening – for knowledge is priceless.
For more information regarding Pound: http://www.roscoepound.org/