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March 22, 2013

Professor Elizabeth Tippett Published in ACC Docket Spring Issue

Oregon Law Professor Elizabeth Tippett recently co-authored a feature article for the April 2013 issue of the ACC Docket, the magazine for in-house lawyers with a circulation of 35,000 published by the Association of Corporate Council. The article, titled “Spending Scarce Litigation-Prevention Dollars: Should You Bother with an Adverse Impact Analysis?”, encourages in-house counsel to reexamine the routine practice of hiring outside attorneys or experts to conduct expensive statistical analyses when conducting a layoff based on the employer's subjective decision-making. The article urges in-house lawyers to instead allocate their litigation budget based on a more individualized risk profile, using recent actual and threatened litigation against the company and its peers in the industry as a guide. 

The magazine article drew from Tippett's empirical research, which found that statistically-based discrimination claims challenging an subjective-decision making are comparatively rare and may not pose a significant litigation risk for the majority of employers. The research, set forth in Tippett's article Robbing a Barren Vault: The Implications of Dukes v. Wal-Mart, was published in the Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal and selected for presentation at the national 2012 Conference on Empirical Legal Studies from among 356 submissions.

Before joining Oregon Law, Tippett practiced as an employment law attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where she represented technology companies in litigation relating to trade secret misappropriation, employment contracts, and employment discrimination. She earned her law degree from Harvard Law School in 2006 and spent several years as a research associate for the Harvard Negotiation Project. She also served as the Outside Training Director for the Harvard Mediation Program and Articles Editor for the Harvard Negotiation Law Review.

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