HUNTINGTON – The managing partner of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough’s Huntington office has been chosen to lead the DRI Center for Law and Public Policy, which is a new national public policy initiative of DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar.

Marc Williams was chosen to lead the Center in the DRI’s effort to formalize and organize the issues into one unit.

Williams said the DRI has been active in the issues the Center encompasses over the years, but was never formalized until now.

“It’s an honor to be selected to lead the Center for its first two years,” Williams said. “The Center is going to be a guiding force and thought leader in the field.”

Williams said the Center is the largest organization of its kind.

The Center will provide a voice for the defense bar in national discussion of substantive law, constitutional issues and the integrity of the judicial system through scholarship, legal expertise and advocacy.

Williams said the Center plans to educate the public on advocacy issues through published research materials, publications, seminars, editorials and scholarly research.

“We want to be more of a thought leader,” Williams said. “Instead of just advocating for these issues, we want to say, ‘This is what we think, and here’s why.’”

Williams said the Center will educate policy makers, as well as the public, on judicial issues and what is important to the defense bar along with advocating for policy changes when needed.

One way the Center is using scholarship and research to educate the public is with a nationwide survey it conducted in August to evaluate public attitudes about the civil judicial system.

“This was the beginning of a poll we plan to do annually,” Williams said. “We plan to use the poll in the future as a way of tracking trends, comparing the data with previous results, analyze why the data changes and have the data published so that others can learn from it.”

The poll was an independent, nonpartisan, national telephone survey.

Williams’ position is a two-year term. Williams said the Center is working toward a succession plan in the future so those who want to take up the cause will be able to do so.

John R. Kouris, the executive director of DRI, said the DRI is grateful to have Williams’ leadership in launching the DRI Center for Law and Public Policy.

“His knowledge of the organization, as well as his previous experience as a national leader in civil justice reform, will be instrumental in the success of the Center,” Kouris said.

Williams was on the DRI Board from 2003 to 2004. He was president of the DRI from 2008 until 2009. As an attorney, Williams’ practice focuses on trials and appeals of class actions and other mass torts; complex commercial litigation; product liability; toxic torts; consumer fraud; drug and medical device litigation; intellectual property and trade secrets; and environmental claims.

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