What is the Defense Division?
The Defense Division is a new initiative from the RLC that aims to help retail corporate counsel defend their companies from mass action litigation at the front end – before the litigation becomes an expensive “wave” that only benefits plaintiffs’ counsel. The Defense Division will do this by helping retail member companies “see around the corner” to identify upcoming potential waves and by identifying practical steps that retail corporate counsel can take to head off or minimize that litigation. When genuine “waves” hit, the Defense Division will help retailers work together to share litigation strategies. The Defense Division is not focused on tort reform or convincing policy makers to change the litigation landscape; rather, we are dedicated to helping ourselves learn more and be better prepared.
The hallmarks of the successful retail industry – hundreds of millions of consumers and employees – make the industry an irresistible target for the well-organized plaintiffs' bar, which gins up lucrative mass action litigation targeting retailers. Retailers spend large sums of money each year fighting meritless lawsuits. And retail corporate counsel expend valuable time and resources responding to the steady drumbeat of demand letters and complaints.
Partnering with Akin Gump and McGuireWoods, the RLC Defense Division is developing unique new tools to help retailers "see around the corner." These tools will help retailers find out where the plaintiffs' bar intends to strike and provide practical solutions before they do. We are also developing forums for retailers to work together to minimize the impact of demand letters and meritless mass action litigation.
Defense Division Founding Members
Hear from Our Leaders
Retail Litigation Center
"The Retail Litigation Center selected Akin Gump and McGuireWoods after an extensive vetting process and chose these firms to help us found the new Defense Division. We chose them not only for their litigation prowess, but for their deep understanding of the industry, their practical approach to helping the industry, and their commitment to the Defense Division's success. I encourage all major retailers to join the Retail Litigation Center to take advantage of the resources we are developing and to strengthen the industry."
- Rhonda Taylor, Executive Vice President & General Counsel of Dollar General Corporation and Chair of the Retail Litigation Center
"My co-chair, Kathryn Deal, and I are delighted to bring our team's experience and the depth of Akin Gump's strength in combating frivolous consumer class actions, such as the wave of abusive TCPA litigation, to create the new RLC Defense Division. We are committed to helping retailers 'see around the corner' to identify threats before they become trends and to take practical steps to address them. We look forward to collaborating with Amy Turk and her excellent team at McGuireWoods in this effort."
- Meredith Slawe, partner at Akin Gump
"Based on my decade plus experience as a corporate retail employment litigator, I know firsthand how much meritless demand letters and complaints cost retailers every day in terms of focus and resources that could be used for far more productive ends. I also know just how much retailers can accomplish if they work together. I am proud to bring the strength of McGuireWoods' class action team to this initiative. We are delighted that the Retail Litigation Center is developing the Defense Division and are committed to using our skill set and experience to help unite the retail industry against a common enemy: meritless mass action litigation."
- Amy Turk, partner at McGuireWoods