The Duke Conferences

The Duke Conference: Bench-Bar-Academy Distinguished Lawyers’ Series

The Center for Judicial Studies holds bench-bar-academy conferences, inviting a wide range of prominent bench leaders, government officials, senior-level plaintiff and defense lawyers, technical experts, and academics to address emerging or pressing legal issues, providing them an opportunity to develop positions that can guide government policy-makers and decision-makers. Following a conference, the Center may select individuals to prepare under its auspices best practices, guidelines, or other written guidance. Any work product or publication of a Center-held conference may not necessarily reflect the official position of Duke Law School as an entity or of its faculty or of any other organization. The Center takes no institutional position on legal or other issues. Every Center publication stands on its own, and its value judged solely on the merits of its contents. 

The conferences are invitation only inviting 15 judges, 1-5 scholars, and 75 senior-level lawyers. The number of participants is limited to permit prominent judges, lawyers, and academics to discuss important issues fully and frankly in a collaborative environment. Anyone interested in receiving an invitation to a particular conference should send their request to attend along with a description of their relevant experience and reasons for attending the conference to  All invited to these conferences are expected to actively participate in discussions. The conferences are self-funded through registration fees.

Response to Professor Suja Thomas’s Opinion Piece

A few points about the November 5, 2015, letter from Professor Suja Thomas posted on Law360.

Professor Thomas’s letter on the Duke Law School Center for Judicial Studies and the Guidelines and Practices developed by a distinguished group of practitioners – drawn from both sides of the “v” – is based on an incorrect understanding of the Duke Center, the process used to generate the Guidelines and Practices, and the role the Guidelines and Practices are intended to serve.

Upcoming Conferences

Increasing Number of Women and Minorities Appointed to
Leadership Roles in Class Actions and Mass-Tort MDLs

Spring 2017
Location TBA
Emerging Issues in Mass-Tort MDLs Conference
October 27-28, 2016
Washington, DC
Class-Action Settlement Conference
October 6-7, 2016
San Diego, CA
Duke Law/ABA Litigation Section Discovery Proportionality Programs 
Boston, MA - May 13, 2016, 8:30 a.m. (D. Ma. Courthouse)
  Detroit, MI - May 19, 2016, 2:00 p.m. (E.D. Mi. Courthouse)

Past Conferences

Second Multidistrict Litigation Institute
November 9-10, 2015
Arlington, VA (near Reagan National Airport)
Mass-Tort MDL Program for Judicial Conference Committees (CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC)
October 8, 2015
Duke Law School, Durham, NC
Class-Action Settlement Conference
July 23-24, 2015
Arlington, VA (near Reagan National Airport)
U.S. Tax Court Judicial Conference
May 21-22, 2015
Durham, NC (Duke University)
Multidistrict Litigation Institute
April 9-10, 2015
Dallas, TX (near the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport)
Implementing Discovery Proportionality Standard
November 13-14, 2014
Arlington, VA (near Reagan National Airport) 
Multidistrict Litigation Best Practices
September 11-12, 2014
Arlington, VA (near Reagan National Airport)
Patent Law Institute
May 13-17, 2013
Duke Law School
Future of Multidistrict Litigation
May 2-3, 2013
Arlington, VA (near Reagan National Airport)  
Technology-Assisted Review: A Critical Analysis
April 19, 2013
Washington, DC   
Protected-Privacy Data Conference
November 29-30, 2012
Durham, NC
Presidential and Judicial Oversight of Administrative Agencies
April 27, 2012
Duke Law School