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Retail Litigation Center: A National and Influential Force In Litigation

The Retail Litigation Center (RLC) is a trade organization attached to the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) that describes itself as “the only organization dedicated to advocating the retail industry's perspective in those judicial proceedings that are most important to the retail community.”  Launched by RILA in 2010, the RLC is a membership-based organization whose members include many of the nation’s leading retailers.  The RLC takes an active role in lawsuits through the filing of Amicus Briefs, as well sponsoring education initiatives such as its annual Retail Law Conference.

As recently reported, the RLC has been expanding its influence in the courts, having filed 21 briefs in 20 different cases in 2015.  These cases cover many different areas of law that affect retailers, including employment law, corporate governance, tax law, and intellectual property.  The RLC has a broad focus on any legal area that may affect its members, and tackles questions of both substantive and procedural law in its Briefs.  The RLC had many successes in 2015, helping retailers win cases regarding employment discrimination standards and the enforceability of arbitration agreements, among other matters.

The RLC has demonstrated its commitment to assisting in important lawsuits throughout the duration of the sometimes lengthy appeals process.  In May 2015, RLC filed a Brief in the case of Villarreal v. RJR Tobacco, urging the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm the trial court's holding that Section 4(a)(2) of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act does not authorize disparate impact age discrimination claims on behalf of job applicants.  The RLC explained that allowing such suits could imperil initiatives such as campus recruiting and veteran recruiting programs that aim to bring young job applicants and underserved communities into the job market.  Although the 11th Circuit ruled against this position in a narrow 2-1 decision, the RLC has kept up its advocacy, filing another Brief, this time in support of a motion for a re-hearing en banc of the appeal, which is currently pending before Court.

The RLC’s influence appears to be on the rise.  It has shown that it is willing and able to address many different areas of law, and that it will be a zealous advocate throughout the litigation process.

Related topics: Employment, Intellectual Property, Litigation, Retail