The job of Alida Kass, as chief counsel of the New Jersey Civil Justice Institute, is essentially to watch for liability issues in pending legislation and jurisprudence that could impact the business community. A colleague called her “the voice of legal reason in the State House” for her work in connection with measures on employment law, consumer fraud, intellectual property and arbitration. Kass led the institute’s efforts to amend a recent New Jersey bill—the “ban-the-box” law, limiting employers’ inquiries into job applicants’ criminal histories—to make clear that it created no right to a private cause of action. As the organization’s in-house lawyer, she coordinates with a panel of outside counsel on significant amicus engagements. She also recently ended a term on the Borough Council in Chatham, and is president of the New Jersey Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society.

How is the role of general counsel evolving, and how have you adapted?

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