Industry Leaders Open Landmark Retail Law Conference

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and Retail Litigation Center (RLC) welcomed executives to the first-of-its-kind Retail Law Conference today with opening remarks from RILA president Sandy Kennedy and Janet Dhillon, executive vice president, general counsel & secretary for JCPenney and chair of the Retail Litigation Center.

As the day got underway, attendees heard from The Honorable Robert (Bob) Adler, commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Sheila Millar, partner of Keller and Heckman LLP and Casey Chroust, RILA’s executive vice president of retail operations about today’s most pressing product safety issues. The panel discussed newly developing CPSC regulations that impose testing, certification and recordkeeping requirements on retailers, importers and distributors. The panel also covered the specific legal and evidentiary issues that can arise during interactions between retailers and the CPSC.

“Product Safety issues are rapidly evolving; retailers and their partners must be proactively engaged,” said Casey Chroust, executive vice president of retail operations for RILA. “We are delighted that Bob Adler and Sheila Millar could join us to share their insider’s view on the current product safety concerns and how retailers can prepare themselves moving forward.”

With companies continuing to build out their social media strategies, Jimmy Robinson, partner for Troutman Sanders, examined the world of social media with attendees. Robinson discussed the new questions that continue to arise as companies become more dependent on social media for business purposes, and explored the interface between social networking and employees' and employers' rights when social media is used in the workplace.

Bryan Dumont, president of APCO Insight and Kent Jarrell, senior vice president & director of Litigation Communication Practice for APCO Worldwide shared the results of the "Return on Reputation Indicator: State of the Retail Industry" study, a 360-degree view of reputation among key stakeholders, conducted in conjunction with RILA. Dumont revealed how changes in the retail industry's reputation can lead to a significant shift in the number of individuals willing to give the industry or a companys the benefit-of-the-doubt.

Looking ahead, Jim VandeHei, executive editor and co-founder of POLITICO provided an in-depth analysis of the mid-term election results. With over 15 years of experience in Washington journalism, VandeHei gave an insider’s perspective of the new political landscape. Discussing what effect the incoming congressional class will have on the 2011 legislative strategy and how the new political realities will influence the White House and the 2012 presidential race.

RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.


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