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Title: Senior Vice President and General Counsel Location: Dallas Age: 48 Shall We Dance? ElkCorp has a long history of staffing lean, and the legal department is no exception. “We’re very profitable, and if we can accomplish our positions in a lean mode, you try to do that as much as possible,” says CFO Greg Fisher. The legal department is no exception. David G. Sisler, sole attorney for the publicly traded, building-materials manufacturer since being hired in 1995, has had to get pretty creative to meet his clients’ needs. For example, instead of a full-time associate, he has a less-expensive monthly retention agreement with a former colleague � whom he won’t name because he fears competitors might try to hire him away. He also relies on his management system and fixed-fee arrangements whenever he can negotiate them with outside counsel. “There are so many intangibles involved with legal advice that it takes a lot of effort to show that you add to the bottom line,” he says. Sisler has put in that effort, for example, with his eight-step “Products Liability Risk Minimization” plan. ElkCorp is transforming itself into what is mainly a business-products manufacturer, he says, by developing new platforms and products, as well as divesting of businesses. All of these activities bring legal issues with them. Sisler’s plan aims to prevent legal woes by pushing protection for the company, liability education and legal department involvement. “I can feel very confident that Dave’s input and review is always extremely thorough. We may not use everything he suggests, [but] I always know we’ve got everything covered. We’ve never been surprised,” Fisher says. Mike Kiik, senior vice president of research and development, says Sisler proves his worth by saving the company in the future, instead of at the last minute, with his work on contracts. “He’ll put in provisions that we would never think of, and as these things mature, we are very thankful that he did,” Kiik says. Kiik says Sisler watches over the company’s interests like a hawk. And like a hawk, he works alone. That can be a problem when clients surprise him with a pressing matter on short notice. “He forces people to be more disciplined,” Kiik says. Kiik also credits Sisler with the “confidential reality dance.” As ElkCorp’s engineers and outside vendors or suppliers begin to develop a product and devote resources to it, the company negotiates who will own what at the end of the day. Kiik says he and Sisler wrote an ideal agreement, in which ElkCorp would own everything, and that’s the starting point of the dance. Then, “we do the tango until we’re comfortable,” Kiik says. Sisler usually stands in the background, encouraging the businesspeople to stay the course and establish those parameters early, Kiik says.

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