On February 11 at the American Bar Association Midyear Meeting in Dallas, Texas, CCL President Robert Peck helped the ABA adopt policies to bring sensible reforms to the Medicare reimbursement process, address jurors' access to social media, and adopt amendments to the Rules of Professional Responsibility.

Representing the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section in the House of Delegates, the ABA's policymaking body, Peck helped write the report supporting Medicare reform.  In December, Congress approved the SMART Act, legislation that streamlined the process when Medicare claims a right to reimbursement for medical expenses paid before a beneficiary receives compensation from a tortfeasor.  The new law, supported by all stakeholders in the process, enables a beneficiary to receive timely information about any obligations to Medicare and proceed to settlement or trial without the guesswork or delays that the process has long entailed.  The new ABA policy is in line with the SMART Act and allows the organization to comment on regulations that will be promulgated to implement the new law.

The new jury guidelines provide advice on the conduct of trials where social media could bias the proceedings.  The amended ethical rules were the product of a multi-year effort to study changes in the legal profession and the growing globalization of legal issues.