SACRAMENTO – The Civil Justice Association of California (CJAC) has anounced that John Doherty, vice president of politics and policy, and general counsel of TechNet, as the named successor to president and CEO Kim Stone, who will be passing the torch to Doherty Dec. 15.
CJAC is a nonprofit, membership-supported coalition of citizens, businesses and local governments that work in the state legislature and the courts to reduce excessive and unwarranted litigation that can ultimately increase the cost of goods and services for consumers.
“Kim and her team have done a great job and I have no intentions of changing anything they’ve done," Doherty told the Northern California Record. "However, I do plan on expanding the organizational focus.”
Doherty said he believes his experience with TechNet in an ever-changing industry contributed to his selection as CJAC’s next president and CEO.
“We have to look at where we are heading and technology impacts that. Like autonomous vehicles. This takes the focus off tort lawsuits to product liability. We will need to determine how we handle injuries resulting from a product failure rather than human error. We will also need to focus on the changing nature of employment landscape. There are fewer people living as employees, and more people opening their own businesses," he said.
The traditional issue of defining employees and independent contractors continues to be a problem, Doherty said.
"We should focus on whether that binary system is still appropriate. We are also dedicated to helping small businesses become compliant with the American Disabilities Act and prevent good companies from being victims of lawsuits for doing nothing wrong," he said.
Doherty said he looks at CJAC as having many components comprised of grassroots efforts, communication, advocacy work and politics. He said there are many issues Californians face today and he intends to continue to help people and protect creativity by combining work efforts and expanding the scope of what CJAC can offer the residents of California.
“CJAC is a productive force in the community. We want to help individuals understand the legal system, navigate legal issues and work on policy issues. Our existence is in bringing people together who know about problems or who are affected by problems and working together to address them. We want small businesses to come to us so we can learn from the problems they are facing, find solutions and represent them in our efforts,” Doherty said.
Doherty will be departing from his current role with TechNet Dec. 15 and transitioning directly to CJAC. Before serving as vice president and general counsel for TechNet, Doherty was a trial attorney for a nonprofit firm for six years before venturing into government and politics in 2002. He also held the position of vice president of government affairs for United Health Group and served as chief of staff to Democratic Assembly Member Alberto Torrico.
Kim Stone told the Northern California record she is pleased John Doherty will be taking her place at CJAC and the association is "lucky to have him."