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Litigation Crisis Triage

Level: Intermediate
Runtime: 64 minutes
Recorded Date: October 12, 2017
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  • Lawsuits
  • Internal and Government Investigations
  • Communications
  • Indemnity, Advancement and Insurance
  • Managing Experts
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: October 12, 2017


This panel will discuss effective strategies for working with outside counsel to manage class actions, derivative suits, and regulatory fall out from a corporate crisis, managing the media, including social media, internal communications, insurance, management of legal and other specialists, and tactics for keeping corporate constituencies informed and focused.

Attendees will take away an action plan that will enable them to hit the ground running in a corporate crisis, including check lists and outlines previewing what to expect and how to successfully handle the litigation and regulatory enforcement minefields.

This program was recorded on October 12th, 2017.

Provided By

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Laura Danysh

Vice President & Senior Counsel

Laura Danysh is Vice President & Senior Counsel of Global Regulatory at Hilton, one of the world’s preeminent hospitality companies with over 5000 hotels operating under 14 brands in over 100 countries and territories. In her current role, Laura leads and coordinates global regulatory affairs and disputes. Laura created and led the legal and compliance training program, developing programs relating to anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, trade sanctions, and internal investigations. She led the global implementation of the Records Management program, administering a network of over 100 Records Coordinators. Laura also served as a member of Hilton's Global Policy Committee for responsible for creating and implementing company policies.

When Laura first joined Hilton to manage dispute resolution, she led the team that negotiated and implemented a Consent Decree with the Department of Justice regarding compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Laura also executed on Hilton's compliance of a permanent injunction and court appointed monitors, which led to an order dismissing the case.

Laura chairs Hilton’s Global Pro Bono Committee and serves as a board member for the Legal Services of Northern Virginia. Prior to joining Hilton, she was a member at Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, where her practice focused on commercial litigation.

Laura received her JD from the George Washington University Law School and her BA from the University of South Carolina Honors College.

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Nicole D. Bearce

Associate General Counsel - Litigation
Unilever United States, Inc.

Nicole serves as Associate General Counsel for Litigation at Unilever United States, and is responsible for overseeing and managing the company’s U.S. litigation portfolio and the team that handles those cases. Unilever is a global consumer products company with €53 billion turnover last year (more than €8 billion in the US); 169,000 employees worldwide (8,000 in the US); and it proudly utilizes 60% sustainably-sourced materials. Every day, more than 2 billion consumers use Unilever products – including Lipton Tea, Hellmann’s mayonnaise, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Breyers, Dove, Dermalogica, Dollar Shave Club, Q-tips, and Seventh Generation. Unilever’s Litigation function includes not only active lawsuits, but also attorney-represented claims that arise through the consumer hotline, pre-litigation demand letters, and other disputes, as well as the Records Management team.

On the international front, Nicole co-leads the company’s Global Litigation Initiative, which connects in-house litigation experts from around the world. She also sits on the steering committee for the company’s global Electronic Discovery Working Group and serves as Data Retention Champion for North America.

Prior to joining Unilever, Nicole litigated complex commercial and class action matters while in private practice for nearly 17 years, which included 10 years as an equity partner.

Nicole serves on a number of non-profit boards, including the Executive Board for the NJ chapter of Association of Corporate Counsel. She is also immediate past President of the Harvard Law School Alumni Association for New Jersey.

Ms. Bearce is a graduate of Harvard Law School.

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Pamela S. Palmer

Pepper Hamilton LLP

Pamela Palmer is a partner in the Commercial Litigation Department and co-chair of the Securities Litigation Practice of Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in the Los Angeles and Orange County offices.

Ms. Palmer handles a wide range of complex business disputes with emphasis in business v. business disputes, investor and shareholder claims, securities and disclosure litigation, class actions, derivative suits, merger and corporate control disputes, as well as consumer and competition claims. She represents companies, officers, directors and professional service providers in fiduciary duty, business judgment and professional liability cases, SEC and other regulatory enforcement matters. She also advises clients on corporate governance, disclosure, indemnification and D&O insurance coverage.

Ms. Palmer has a strong track record of achieving client-favorable pre-trial case dismissals and insurance covered settlements. She also advises boards and special committees in internal investigations involving whistleblowers, shareholder demands and auditor-initiated investigations.

Ms. Palmer’s clients have included Fortune-ranked public companies, executives, boards, private companies and individuals involved in a wide range of industries, including technology, internet and digital media, life sciences, medical devices, wireless communications, broadcasting, residential mortgage, financial services and commercial banking.

She is a member of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee, Professional Responsibility Committee and Contributions Committee. Before joining Pepper, Ms. Palmer was a litigation partner with Latham & Watkins and a member of its Whistleblower Task Force and M&A Takeover Defense Group. Before private practice, Ms. Palmer served as a law clerk in the Ninth Circuit.

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Rhonda Barnat

Managing Director
The Abernathy MacGregor Group

Rhonda Barnat

Managing Director

The Abernathy MacGregor Group

Rhonda Barnat advises clients on a wide variety of issues, including corporate and financial public relations and mergers and acquisitions. As a special practice area, she provides counsel to senior management in highly complex and sensitive crises. Her clients cover the full spectrum of industries, including financial services, healthcare and manufacturing, as well as not-for-profit organizations and other institutions.

Ms. Barnat joined The Abernathy MacGregor Group in 1996. Prior to that she managed media relations at The Bank of New York. Ms. Barnat also managed communications and community affairs at River Bank America, where her corporate philanthropy work was recognized in Doing Best by Doing Good (Dutton, 1992). Earlier, she served as public information officer at The University of Michigan Hospitals.

Ms. Barnat has published articles in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Washington Post, and Detroit Free Press. She is an adjunct faculty member in public relations at Marymount Manhattan College. She has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Rochester and a Masters from the University of Michigan.

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