“Nearly everyone thinks that the civil justice system is out of control,” said Roxanne Conlin, Esq. as she addressed the students in the Intensive Trial Advocacy Program on Widener Law’s Harrisburg campus on Thursday, May 21st. She refuted that belief a moment later, asserting, “It is the civil justice system that provides the only check on corporate greed.”
“I am absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to introduce our speaker, Roxanne Conlin,” said Associate Professor J. Palmer Lockard
, Director of the Harrisburg ITAP program
before turning the podium over to Conlin, who kept the rapt attention of her audience with personal tales of cases she worked on. She stressed the importance of serving as an advocate for one’s client numerous times while emphasizing the importance of the civil justice system as a vehicle for protecting individuals who are victimized. “The concepts on which are civil justice system is based are not moot,” she affirmed.
In addition to sharing anecdotes from some of the many cases she was involved in, Ms. Conlin showed the students a variety of documents that highlighted what she was discussing, including documentation from the litigation surrounding the Ford Pinto that proved Ford knew about the gas tank problems. At the conclusion of her talk, she took questions from the students. Asked what one piece of advice she would give to young lawyers, she said, “Be flexible, but you have to do what makes you happy in life because life is short.”
Roxanne Conlin received her B.A. and J.D., as well as a Masters Degree in Public Administration, from Drake University. She served as an Assistant Attorney General for Iowa from 1969 to 1976 before being appointed United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa in 1977, at the time only the second woman appointed by a President as a United States Attorney. In 1982, she won the primary to become the Democratic candidate for governor of Iowa, but she lost the general election narrowly. From 1992 to 1993, she served as the first female president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. A nationally recognized and respected trial lawyer, she now has her own law firm, Roxanne Conlin & Associates, in Des Moines, Iowa.