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The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) has introduced the first-of-its-kind Retail Litigation Center (RLC), with aim providing the retail industry with a voice on crucial legal issues.
“The Retail Litigation Center will bring together the industry’s most talented and respected legal professionals to identify and meaningfully engage in legal proceedings affecting the retail industry,” explained RILA President Sandy Kennedy. “With guidance from the RLC’s board of directors and participation from diverse representatives of the retail community, the center will focus on producing better outcomes in litigation affecting the retail industry.”
The RLC will take part in both state and federal cases, principally at the appellate level, enabling the retail industry to weigh in on key legal issues and emphasize for courts the importance and potential industrywide consequences of the legal issues before them. RILA’s past participation in litigation includes its successful challenge to the health care spending mandates in Maryland (RILA v. Fielder, 475 F. 3d 180 (4th Cir. 2007)).
RLC membership is open to all retailers, and the center also invites participation from other retail-focused entities such as law firms.
The RLC’s board of directors, chaired by Janet Dhillon, EVP, general counsel amd secretary for J.C. Penney Co., Inc., consists of Timothy Baer, EVP and general counsel, Target Corp.; David Goldston, SVP, general counsel & secretary, Jo-Ann Stores, Inc.; Susan Lanigan, EVP & general counsel, Dollar General Corp.; Samuel Reeves, SVP & general counsel, Walmart US, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.; and Michael Veitenheimer, SVP, secretary & general counsel, Michaels Stores, Inc.
“In today’s dynamic business environment, major policy decisions affecting our industry are made every day, not only in Washington D.C., and in state capitals, but also in courtrooms across America,” noted Veitenheimer. “There is a pressing need to lend an informed perspective to litigation affecting our retail industry. The Retail Litigation Center’s ability to express the industry’s perspective on meaningful legal matters is sure to benefit retailers across the spectrum.”
Additionally, the RLC and RILA will co-sponsor an annual conference uniting industry leaders to discuss the top legal issues affecting retailers and how best to address them. With an emphasis on ethics and retail-focused law issues, sessions at the RILA Law Conference will be designed to qualify for continuing legal education (CLE) credits and target retail and consumer product general counsels, senior legal executives, and retail corporate counsel at all levels. The first conference is scheduled for Nov. 8 through Nov. 10 at the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa in Clearwater, Fla.
Arlington, Va.-based RILA’s members include over 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 in the United States and abroad.