RAND and UCLA School of Law Form Alliance for Law and Public Policy

For Release

October 30, 2007

Conference on Transparency in Civil Justice System Kicks Off Partnership

The RAND Corporation and the UCLA School of Law have formed a strategic alliance to improve public policy through the marriage of rigorous policy analysis and outstanding legal scholarship.

The partnership kicks off with a conference at the UCLA School of Law on Nov. 2 that will explore the potential costs and benefits of increased secrecy in the nation's civil justice system.

Ronald M. George, chief justice of the California Supreme Court, and attorney Ken Feinberg, who oversaw payments made to victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, will be the featured speakers.

“We are thrilled to be joining with RAND, whose extensive policy analysis and expertise is unparalleled,” said UCLA School of Law Dean Michael H. Schill. “Together we will build on our capabilities and leverage UCLA School of Law's tradition of deep legal and empirical research to find innovative ways for policymakers to further public policy.”

“We are delighted to bring the empirical work of RAND's Institute for Civil Justice together with the academic resources of the UCLA School of Law,” said Michael Rich, executive vice president of RAND. “The upcoming conference for leaders in the civil justice field is just the first product of what we expect will be a fruitful collaboration between RAND and the UCLA School of Law.”

The daylong conference, sponsored by UCLA School of Law and the RAND Institute for Civil Justice, a division of RAND, is titled “Transparency in the Civil Justice System” and will feature a series of panel discussions by leaders from the civil justice community. The panelists will discuss recent trends in the civil justice system towards greater secrecy. They will explore whether the benefits of reduced transparency — including a reduction in litigation costs and less congestion in the courts — outweigh the move toward less public scrutiny.

George, who has served as chief justice since 1996, will deliver the keynote address, while attorney Ken Feinberg, who was special master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and is managing partner and founder of The Feinberg Group, LLP, will present the opening remarks.

Panelists will include academics, leading attorneys from both the plaintiffs' and defendants' side of the bar, insurance industry leaders and other experts from the civil justice system. Scheduled panelists include Thomas V. Girardi (Girardi & Keese), Sheila Birnbaum (Skadden Arps), Richard Thomas (AIG) and Honorable Terry J. Hatter (U.S. District Court, Central California), among others.

Panel topics will include how transparency in the civil justice system affects mass settlements, the influence of private dispute resolution and confidentiality agreements, and how and whether public policies should increase transparency of the system.

For additional conference information, including a list of panelists, or to register for the event, please visit: http://www.rand.org/events/2007/11/02/.

The RAND Institute for Civil Justice helps make the civil justice system more efficient and equitable by supplying government leaders, private decision-makers and the public with the results of objective, empirically based, analytic research.

Founded in 1949, UCLA School of Law is the youngest major law school in the nation and has established a tradition of innovation in its approach to teaching, research and scholarship. With approximately 100 faculty and 970 students, the school pioneered clinical teaching, is a leader in interdisciplinary research and training, and is at the forefront of efforts to link research to its effects on society and the legal profession.

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