In your opinion, what would help the composites industry expand?
It is my opinion the composites industry can best help its business interests by protecting the investments made in its product development, manufacture and sale. Obviously, there is a product liability risk, but there is also the need to protect a company’s intellectual property. Having a lawyer make sure that trademarks, patents and copyrights are obtained, enforced, licensed, commercialized and, if necessary, defended from infringement is very important to the success of a company in the composites industry.
How can the composites industry build better bonds with attorneys?
In my view, it is the attorney that needs to build bonds with industry. As a member of the composites industry, if I were looking for counsel, I would try to find an attorney with experience in the industry. Try to find a lawyer, no matter where that lawyer is physically located, who has been involved in the industry, has represented other members of the industry and who understands the industry. That is the most significant challenge for building bonds between an attorney and a company or an industry – experience with what the client is doing every day.
Your webinar will be held on July 17, 2013: What do you hope to accomplish with this webinar?
My focus will be on educating companies to avoid or limit the risks of product liability. I think if folks will tune in, then they’ll be that much more prepared to deal with product liability related issues going forward.
What is the one main thing you hope that composite industry leaders take away from your presentation?
I hope that they take away that they have access to experienced advocates. If they want to avoid claims and litigation, if they want to better handle a claim or litigation that is ongoing, then they should know that they have an advocate that has experience in the composites industry and that is backed by a firm with the horsepower and depth to handle their case.
As more composites industry leaders become familiar with ways to reduce their company’s product liability exposure, where do you see the future for composites?
Even with ongoing tort reform efforts, which are at the state and federal level, composite product manufacturers and sellers will still face product liability exposure. This is particularly true in an industry that is growing and where there are so many new and different product applications. As a lawyer, I view the future for the composites as positive, as long as the industry’s management of its risks, including product liability and intellectual property issues, can keep pace with technological innovations.
Are there questions I haven’t asked you that you think our readers should know about the product litigation exposure?
You’ll have to tune in to the webinar for more!