Analyses of Nuremburg trials, attorney-client fraud exception highlight journal by IADC

Enduring legal lessons from the Nuremburg Trials and the crime fraud exception to attorney-client privilege are just two timely topics explored in this year’s first-quarter issue of the Defense Counsel Journal (DCJ) published by the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC).

Frequently and favorably cited by courts and other legal scholarship, the DCJ is a quarterly forum for topical and scholarly writings on the law, including its development and reform, as well as on the practice of law in general. The articles are intended to serve as a resource to IADC members, trial attorneys, in-house counsel, and the judiciary.     

The IADC’s first-quarter 2024 DCJ is available for free and without a subscription via the IADC’s website at

Compiled under the leadership of current IADC President Michele Y. Smith, a shareholder at MehaffyWeber PC in Houston, Texas, and current DCJ editor Marsha M. Piccone, a partner at Fox Rothschild LLP in Denver, Colorado, the new DCJ articles are written by members of the IADC, which is a 2,500-member, invitation-only, worldwide legal industry organization.

Following are brief summaries of the articles included in the first-quarter 2024 issue of the DCJ:

• “The Nuremburg Trials – Viewing the Rule of Law's Response to the Holocaust Through a Trial Lawyer's Lens” by Christopher S. Berdy, an attorney at Butler Snow LLP in Birmingham, Alabama – The article explores the rich “inner architecture” of the Nuremberg Trials, making its case as a compelling reminder for trial lawyers that the “technical elements of ‘lawyering’ ” – incorporating the newest technology, collaboration, the power visual aids and rhetoric – are as effective today as they were more than 75 years ago.

• “Privilege Pierced by Ongoing or Future Wrongful Conduct: The Crime-Fraud Privilege Exception is Broader Than You Think” by W. Scott O’Connell, a partner at Holland & Knight LLP in Boston, and New York City – this article takes a look at this old and robust document intended to promote candor in attorney-client communications amid the uptick in courts taking a broad view of this exception and applying it to types of conduct other than strict crimes or frauds. The premise of the article is that knowing the full reach of this exception is essential to protect the privilege and protect communications between attorney and client.

• “Third-Party Observation of Independent Medical Examinations” by Floyd G. Cottrell, a partner at Rawle & Henderson, LLP in Hackensack, New Jersey – the article reviews the 2013 New Jersey Supreme Court case DiFiore v. Pezic in which the court crystallized the issues presented by third-party observers of independent medical examinations, with reasoning that offers guidance to litigants in any jurisdiction where third-party observation and recording of medical examinations is contentious.

• “PFAS in Food Packaging: Product Liability Concerns for Industry Manufacturers and Sellers” by Craig T. Liljestrand, a partner at Hinshaw and Culbertson LLP in Chicago – the article examines the legal response and related issues around PFAs (“forever chemicals”) as a potential source of human harm to consumers and workers involved in manufacturing or processing PFAS-containing materials, as well as risk mitigation measures for manufacturers and sellers.

The core purposes of the IADC are to enhance the development of skills, promote professionalism, and facilitate camaraderie among its members and their clients, as well as the broader civil justice community. For additional information, visit