This essay was adapted from a speech he gave at a convocation on lawyer independence jointly sponsored by the New York State Institute on Professionalism in the Law and the New York State Judicial Institute. Read “General Counsel are One Conscience of the Company,” a rebuttal to Weber’s speech by former General Electric GC Ben Heineman Jr.
I recently gave a speech on the issue of lawyer independence, particularly as it applies to corporate counsel. Having practiced law for nearly 40 years, as both an in-house and outside counsel, I certainly have views on this topic, some of which may be within the legal mainstream, others less so. Either way, the independence of in-house counsel has been under scrutiny for some time, and the issue remains worthy of careful and critical examination.