Beware of Employment Law Landmines for Multistate Employers
The Legal Intelligencer
December 18, 2013

As more companies grow and expand beyond their startup location, the potential for employment law landmines increases exponentially. Many companies desire the ease and uniformity of one-size-fits-all policies and procedures, especially as the company grows. But companies operating in multiple states must take care that their policies and procedures comport with not just federal employment laws, but also state and even local employment laws for all of the jurisdictions in which they operate. Even documents as standard as an employment application may need to be modified based upon state or local law. Full Text


The Importance of Drafting Clear Corporate Bylaws
The Legal Intelligencer
December 4, 2013

In September 2009, when the FBI had arrested Sergey Aleynikov for allegedly stealing proprietary trading codes from Goldman Sachs, the financial powerhouse probably did not expect, as a purported victim, to pay him to defend against the criminal charges. Full Text


Severance Payments May Not Be Subject to FICA Tax
The Legal Intelligencer
November 20, 2013

As corporate downsizing becomes more commonplace in today’s challenging business environment, severance payments to departing workers are under more scrutiny. It is well established that such severance payments are included in workers’ gross income and subject to federal income tax withholding. But whether such severance payments are wages for purposes of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act has become a controversial issue over the years. Much of the debate stems from the intertwined and complex history of the federal income tax withholding and the FICA tax provisions. Full Text


Investigating Employee Complaints of Workplace Bullying
The Legal Intelligencer
November 13, 2013

Workplace bullying is once again receiving significant media attention after a Miami Dolphins offensive lineman, Jonathan Martin, lodged allegations of bullying and harassment by fellow lineman Richie Incognito and other unnamed teammates. While the National Football League investigates Martin’s claims, the Dolphins have suspended Incognito pending the outcome of the investigation. The NFL’s prompt response to Martin’s allegations serves as an important reminder that it is imperative that employers implement an effective mechanism to investigate and resolve workplace complaints. Full Text


Key Elements of an Effective Bring-Your-Own-Device Policy
The Legal Intelligencer
October 30, 2013

Employee-owned devices, particularly smartphones and tablets, are increasingly used in the workplace. Although many employers have gone to significant expense to equip their workforces with such devices, more and more employees rely on their own devices, in a trend known as bring your own device. BYOD offers advantages for both employee and employer. Employees crave the most up-to-date devices, but may not want to carry more than one. Employers can save the expense of purchasing and updating devices, while fostering a more productive work environment. According to one study by Gartner Inc.’s Executive Programs, half of all employers will require workers to bring their own device by 2017. Clearly, BYOD is here to stay. Full Text



Six Ways to Avoid Wage-and-Hour Class Action Litigation
The Legal Intelligencer
October 16, 2013

Before the advent of wage-and-hour class action litigation, labor and employment cases rarely rose to a level that impacted corporate financial statements. Full Text


GCs as Board Members? Let’s Refocus That Energy
The Legal Intelligencer
October 2, 2013

In theory, it makes great sense—general counsel have the skill set to make terrific board members, as a recent survey suggests. By virtue of their professional training and analytical approach, general counsel possess traits that are in high demand by boards. Full Text


Getting Discovery on a Plaintiff’s Motive in Filing Suit
The Legal Intelligencer
September 25, 2013

Every day, countless civil lawsuits are filed in this country. Every day, countless plaintiffs seek relief from our nation’s court systems, whether it be to recover for economic losses, to prevent future illegal conduct or to challenge a law or regulation. For a lawsuit to continue past the preliminary stages, each plaintiff must allege some degree of facts and a cognizable legal theory that entitle that plaintiff to relief. Full Text


Preparing for Appellate Review While in District Court
The Legal Intelligencer
September 12, 2013

For in-house counsel, a federal district court order granting or denying class certification is often a watershed moment. If certification is denied, it may be economically impractical for the plaintiff to continue to litigate and the case may effectively be won. If certification is granted, in-house counsel may face extraordinary pressure to settle and avoid the risk of an adverse judgment on hundreds or thousands of claims. Full Text


Q&A With Comcast Cable Senior VP and GC Doug Gaston
The Legal Intelligencer
September 4, 2013

Comcast is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses: Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. As general counsel for Comcast Cable, I serve the nation’s largest video provider, largest residential Internet service provider (ISP), and fourth-largest phone company, providing legal advice across a wide range of subjects and directing a team of attorneys and legal professionals who provide day-to-day support to the company’s operating departments at headquarters and to our employees across 39 states and Washington, D.C. Full Text


Corporations in the Unusual Role of Criminal Defendant
The Legal Intelligencer
August 28, 2013

Chances are, when you hear or read about a defendant entering a plea in a criminal case, you picture a guy in an orange jumpsuit, someone who ultimately is most likely led away in handcuffs after the plea is entered. But what happens when the criminal defendant isn’t a person but a corporation? How exactly does a corporation plead guilty — or not guilty, for that matter? Full Text


Compliance Needs Performance Standards and Credentials
The Legal Intelligencer
August 21, 2013

With a growing body of knowledge documenting that highly ethical organizations are also high performing, enlightened business leaders are driving a new and ongoing convergence between ethics and compliance. Full Text


E-Discovery Considerations for Choosing Cloud Providers
The Legal Intelligencer
August 14, 2013

It’s 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning in an airport departure lounge. Your employee is about to depart with her family for a well-deserved vacation. Suddenly, her mobile phone buzzes with an email containing an urgent request. She pulls a tablet from a carry-on suitcase and logs on to the airport Wi-Fi network. Within minutes she is able to access her business documents, make the requested edits, and email back the final product. She can then turn back to her vacation plans. Your customer is thrilled with the timely response. Everyone wins, right? Full Text



Top 5 Mistakes Made by New In-House Counsel
The Legal Intelligencer
August 7, 2013

Hindsight is 20/20. When a lawsuit is done, I do an after-action report to look for lessons learned. I’ve always found at least one thing I’ll do differently next time. Full Text


Creating a Company’s Living Will Has Benefits
The Legal Intelligencer
July 31, 2013

Who looks forward to making a will? Under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, major financial institutions don’t have a choice. They’re required to pen “living wills” detailing assets and liabilities and how the bank would protect or unwind those assets in the event of a financial crisis. But where some might see a compliance challenge in writing these plans, Abdi Shayesteh, deputy general counsel for Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., sees a golden opportunity. “It’s a great exercise to look inward, starting with the legal department,” he says. Full Text


Extradition: Companies Should Invest in Protecting Their Assets
The Legal Intelligencer
July 24, 2013

Edward Snowden’s detention in the Moscow airport transit zone, and the U.S. government’s efforts to extradite him, may seem confined to that case’s politically charged circumstances. But what if Snowden were merely a malingering corporate employee? Imagine if he had absconded with company secrets (such as the Coca-Cola recipe), or embezzled company funds, and was hiding out halfway across the world. Under what circumstances, if any, could he be forcibly returned to the United States to answer for his actions? Full Text


How Will the DSM-5′s Changes Affect Your Company?
The Legal Intelligencer
July 17, 2013

The American Psychiatric Association released a new edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, known as the DSM-5, on May 18. Although the manual is primarily used by psychiatrists and other mental health professionals in diagnosing patients, its influence extends to the courts and the development of employment law as well. The DSM-5 will surely affect employment law profoundly, but it may well do so in some disparate and unpredictable ways. Full Text


Considerations for Providers Facing Audits From Payors
The Legal Intelligencer
July 11, 2013

The relationship between providers and payors has evolved greatly over the past couple of decades, from one of distrust, to “partnerships,” and now back to an era of distrust and antagonism. Payors have become very active in performing audits, and the inevitable set-offs, take-backs or general recoupment processes have followed. Although hospitals have at least some of the structure in place to address these issues on the facility side, there are large inadequacies on the professional side. Full Text


Q&A With Dansko General Counsel Scott Schwartz
The Legal Intelligencer
July 3, 2013

As Dansko’s only in-house counsel, I manage all of Dansko’s legal matters, either directly or indirectly, with the support of outside counsel. Dansko is a leader in the all-day comfort footwear market and I provide legal guidance and support to all of Dansko’s business operations throughout the company from finance to sourcing (and everything in between). As Dansko’s first in-house counsel, my duties also include building a legal department that is integrated with and complements Dansko’s business. Full Text


How to Win a Business Negotiation With Win-Win Approach
The Legal Intelligencer
June 26, 2013

It is counterintuitive in business negotiation that someone would agree to take a loss so you can take a gain. The key to getting your opponent to do something that is in your best interest is persuading your opponent that accepting your proposition is in its best interest. Your offer or demand, therefore, must be presented as a win-win. This is true no matter what you are negotiating. Full Text


Structuring Unpaid Internships to Avoid FLSA Violations
The Legal Intelligencer
June 19, 2013

Recent court decisions may curtail the use of unpaid internships at for-profit businesses, as companies now face substantial liability for improperly classifying interns under the “trainee exception” of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Traditionally, unpaid internships have proven to be a crucial resource for inexperienced students and recent graduates. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 55 percent of the class of 2012 had an internship during college, almost half of which were unpaid. Although companies are generally receptive to such arrangements, recent legal exposure will likely upend the traditional unpaid internship model. Full Text


What General Counsel Can Bring to a Company’s Board
The Legal Intelligencer
June 12, 2013

One of the notable features of the last two proxy seasons is the increasing number of shareholder complaints of misleading or inadequate disclosure materials, with courts often issuing preliminary injunctions enjoining proxy votes. As a February alert from Day Pitney put it: “At a minimum, management should enter this proxy season with a clear understanding of disclosure obligations and an appreciation of how those obligations are being tested in today’s landscape.” Given this new climate, we want to explore the role that lawyers, particularly general counsel, can play on boards. Full Text


What General Counsel Can Bring to a Company’s Board
The Legal Intelligencer
June 5, 2013

One of the notable features of the last two proxy seasons is the increasing number of shareholder complaints of misleading or inadequate disclosure materials, with courts often issuing preliminary injunctions enjoining proxy votes. As a February alert from Day Pitney put it: “At a minimum, management should enter this proxy season with a clear understanding of disclosure obligations and an appreciation of how those obligations are being tested in today’s landscape.” Given this new climate, we want to explore the role that lawyers, particularly general counsel, can play on boards. Full Text


Q&A With FMC Executive VP and GC Andrea Utecht
The Legal Intelligencer
June 5, 2013

An Intereview with FMC Executive VP and GC Andrea Utecht. Full Text


When a Federal Agency Improperly Targets an Organization
The Legal Intelligencer
May 29, 2013

The focus on the political consequences of the Internal Revenue Service scandal has overshadowed a troubling reality that a federal agency targeted specific groups of people for discriminatory treatment. In singling out conservative groups, the IRS reminded us that the McCarthy-era Red Scare is not the distant memory many would like to believe. Full Text


Leave-of-Absence Issues Managers Need to Know
The Legal Intelligencer
May 22, 2013

In many organizations, the human resources function is handled by specialists who guide managers’ decision-making to ensure consistency with myriad employment laws. It is not uncommon, however, for HR professionals to get involved in the decision-making process only after a manager has implemented an employment decision creating potential liability. Full Text


Workplace Bullying: Managing the Organizational Playground
The Legal Intelligencer
May 15, 2013

Workplace bullying is a pervasive problem that often precipitates harassment and discrimination claims and, in more extreme cases, workplace violence. Although there is currently no state that prohibits workplace bullying, it can expose employers to significant legal risk and damage both productivity and employee morale. According to a 2012 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 51 percent of organizations reported that there had been incidents of bullying in their workplace. Full Text


Selecting Service Providers and Building a True Partnership
The Legal Intelligencer
May 8, 2013

A recent hot topic, and the subject of many articles, has been law firms and corporations deciding whether to insource, outsource or create a hybrid model for handling discovery services. For those that decide that outsourcing is the appropriate model for them, selecting the right service provider or providers to assist with handling discovery is not as easy as one would think. Full Text


Q&A With UPS Senior VP and GC Teri Plummer McClure
The Legal Intelligencer
May 1, 2013

The second in The Legal’s series of Q&As with general counsel features Teri Plummer McClure, senior vice president of legal, compliance, audit and public affairs, general counsel and corporate secretary of UPS. Full Text


Using the Privilege: Fifth Amendment Fundamentals for Corporations
The Legal Intelligencer
April 24, 2013

Most in-house lawyers, if they’re fortunate, haven’t bumped up against the Fifth Amendment and its related issues since the bar exam. After all, the so-called “nickel” typically arises solely in the criminal context, and corporations don’t have the right to plead the Fifth Amendment at an organizational level. Full Text


Strategies for Avoiding the Headache of Preference Liability
The Legal Intelligencer
April 17, 2013

Although business bankruptcy filings have trended down in recent months, the lingering legacy of litigation prompted by the surge in filings at the outset of the U.S. financial crisis remains with us and continues to strike many general counsel with unexpected actions for recovery of payments made by the debtor in the run-up to a Chapter 11 case. Full Text



Seven Steps to Enhance Post-Employment Restrictive Covenants
The Legal Intelligencer
April 10, 2013

Employers often enter into post-employment restrictive covenants (commonly referred to as noncompete agreements) with employees only to find that when the employees leave, the restrictive covenants are not enforceable or do not provide sufficient value to the company. Full Text




Q&A With Penske Senior Vice President and GC Michael Duff
The Legal Intelligencer
April 3, 2013

My primary responsibility is managing the company’s legal department, which represents the company in a variety of matters, including contract negotiations, financing transactions, mergers and acquisitions, real estate transactions, intellectual property and information technology matters, and employment matters. Full Text


Understanding the Basics of Philadelphia’s New Actual Value Initiative
The Legal Intelligencer
March 27, 2013

The city of Philadelphia’s new property tax program is coming and your assessment is likely going up, but it is not all bad news. Still, commercial property owners and residential property owners alike need to understand the basics of the city’s new Actual Value Initiative (AVI) and be prepared to take steps to ensure that they are assessed fairly. In particular, commercial properties often have unique or complex valuation issues, which are frequently overlooked by taxing authorities. Full Text


Third Circuit Grapples With Privilege and Appellate Jurisdiction
The Legal Intelligencer
March 20, 2013

A party facing a discovery order, who wishes to protect the confidentiality of privileged information in documents held by its counsel, may need to regain possession of the documents, refuse to produce the privileged documents, and incur a contempt citation before appealing the order under a groundbreaking decision late last year by the Third Circuit. Full Text


Best Practices for In-House Counsel When Launching a Corporate Spinoff
The Legal Intelligencer
March 6, 2013

In recent years, many multi-industrials have spun off parts of their portfolios. The decision to undertake a spinoff is a significant strategic decision by a board of directors, and each step of the process is an intensely law-driven activity. Full Text


U.S. Appellate Court Expands Reach of Anti-Bribery Statute
The Legal Intelligencer
February 27, 2013

Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in United States v. Ring, No. 11-3100 (D.C. Cir. Jan. 25, 2013), upheld a conviction for bribery under the public sector honest-services fraud statute, expanding the definitions of “corrupt payments” and “official action,” and thus making it easier for federal prosecutors to secure convictions under this statute. The court, in an opinion by Judge David Tatel, held: (1) implicit quid pro quo is sufficient for a bribery conviction, and no actual agreement by the public official is necessary; (2) there is “official action” when a lawyer in the Justice Department emails a secretary with the Immigration and Naturalization Service requesting expedited review of a visa application; and (3) the trial court did not abuse its discretion under the First Amendment or Federal Rule of Evidence 403 in allowing the jury to draw an adverse inference from a defendant’s history of lawful campaign contributions. Full Text


Avoiding the Nightmare of Class Discrimination Litigation
The Legal Intelligencer
February 20, 2013

Not all press is good press. No corporation wants to see its brand publicly associated with employment discrimination and multimillion-dollar lawsuits, particularly now that the Internet enables collective memory to extend far beyond the headlines of the last few weeks. In addition, class litigation guarantees years of headaches for in-house counsel and ever-increasing legal costs in even the best-case scenarios. Full Text



Despite Poor Economy, UPS GC Calls for Focus on Diversity
The Legal Intelligencer
February 13, 2013

Diversity in the legal profession and in corporate America is not a luxury, the chief legal and compliance officer for parcel company UPS said in an interview. Full Text


Preserving Evidence When Litigation Is Reasonably Anticipated
The Legal Intelligencer
February 6, 2013

The recent trial between technology leaders Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. was closely followed by electronics consumers worldwide. The technology at issue was cutting-edge. However, the case, Apple v. Samsung Electronics, Civil Action 11-1846 (N.D. Cal 2012) (referenced opinions at Docket Nos. 1321 and 1894), also produced an e-discovery opinion that brings us back to the core of a party’s duty to preserve evidence in anticipation of litigation. Full Text


Discovery Collection Strategy: A Hybrid Approach
The Legal Intelligencer
January 30, 2013

As in-house counsel at a large company, you just received discovery requests from opposing counsel in one of your active matters. You speak with outside counsel and decide it is time to search and collect email and documents from 20 employees and executives who are likely to have relevant information. After talking with your CIO, you have a basic understanding of the company’s IT landscape and know that each of the 20 “custodians” is likely to have data on his or her hard drive and in his or her mailbox, and possibly on network share drives and applications. Full Text


Best Practices for Corporate Internal Investigations
The Legal Intelligencer
January 23, 2013

By now, the concept of Upjohn warnings should be familiar to any counsel, whether in-house or external, who represents a corporation’s interests in an internal investigation. In a nutshell, an Upjohn warning is derived from the Supreme Court decision in Upjohn v. United States, 449 U.S. 383 (1981), and is a mechanism for establishing corporate privilege by which corporate counsel explains to the corporation’s officers and employees that when the individual officer or employee provides a statement to corporate counsel in the course of an internal corporate investigation, it is the corporation — and not the individual — that holds the attorney-client privilege for that statement. Full Text


Picking Up the Pieces of a Corporate Reputation
The Legal Intelligencer
January 16, 2013

In a compliance meltdown, failure is on such a massive scale that it can put the company in peril of dissolution. Reputation is lost, customers and suppliers avoid the organization, talent leaks away and the business is starved of the fuel it needs. In the most severe cases, the entity ceases to function, as happened at Arthur Andersen & Co. Full Text


Do Companies Sue Competitors to Learn Trade Secrets?
The Legal Intelligencer
January 9, 2013

In the new millennium, employee mobility is the norm. Gone are the halcyon days when employees worked for one company for their entire career. One consequence of greater employee mobility is the proliferation of trade secret claims. When an employee leaves one company to work for a competitor, it is not unusual for the former employer to sue the new employer for misappropriation of trade secrets. Full Text



Top Six Tech Issues of 2012 for In-House Counsel
The Legal Intelligencer
January 2, 2013

Made your list and checked it twice? Don’t forget about the most important law and technology developments in 2012 — which can also help guide in-house counsel in the new year. Here, Foley & Lardner attorney Adam Losey, who also edits the online nonprofit IT-Lex and is a member of the editorial advisory board for Law Technology News (a sibling publication of The Legal), walks us through his top six tech issues of the year: Full Text


Deciding When Termination Is the Right Step to Take
The Legal Intelligencer
December 26, 2012

The toughest decision that lawyers, in-house or otherwise, help clients make is whether to impose the employment-law equivalent of capital punishment: termination of an employee. While clients look to attorneys for counsel, sometimes they really want us to make the decision — for that cup to pass from them. Here are five questions to ask to ensure the decision is the right one at the right time: Full Text


How Much Evidence Is Needed to Overcome Attorney-Client Privilege?
The Legal Intelligencer
December 19, 2012

How much evidence is enough to establish the crime-fraud exception to attorney-client privilege? With its recent opinion in In re Grand Jury, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit addressed the issue in the context of subpoenas issued to the former in-house counsel of a company subject to a grand jury investigation. Full Text



Today’s General Counsel Must Be a Jack of All Trades
The Legal Intelligencer
December 12, 2012

When the insider trading and backdating scandals occurred in the last decade, many asked, “Where were the lawyers?” Full Text


Dealing With Complex Workplace Gender-Discrimination Issues
The Legal Intelligencer
December 5, 2012

For the first time in history, women are half of all U.S. workers, and mothers are the primary or co-breadwinners in nearly two-thirds of American families. The recent economic downturn accelerated this trend: Men lost three-quarters of the jobs shed from December 2007 to October 2009. Consequently, gender discrimination has become not just a women’s issue, but a family issue that has taken center stage in the country’s legal and political arena. Full Text


What Employers Can Do to Decrease Risk of Litigation
The Legal Intelligencer
November 28, 2012


During the years when I represented employers, there were always a few common sense things I advised my clients to do to minimize the risk of employment-related litigation. For example, managers should avoid giving inflated performance reviews because those positive ratings will be hard to explain if and when that manager (or a new manager) decides to deal with performance deficiencies in the future. Sometimes, my advice was to stop doing something, such as sending the sales force to team meetings at resort locations where the alcohol runs freely, and then wondering why human resources received multiple sexual harassment complaints following those trips. Full Text


Celebrity Endorsements: Your Morals Clause Return Policy
The Legal Intelligencer
November 21, 2012

On November 5 in Edenbridge, U.K., a 30-foot-tall model of Lance Armstrong was burned to celebrate Guy Fawkes’ failed plot to blow up the Parliament. The giant Armstrong likeness held a Tour de France cup in one hand and a sign in the other, which read, “For sale, racing bike, no longer required.” Prior to this bonfire, a host of corporations paid Armstrong millions of dollars for an image, not an effigy. Full Text


Preserving Coverage Rights for Hurricane Sandy Damage
The Legal Intelligencer
November 14, 2012

Forcing an insurer to pay a claim related to Hurricane Sandy may not be an easy proposition, but the first step is very easy: Businesses, homeowners and other policyholders that have known losses or anticipated losses should immediately provide notice of the loss to their insurers before any more time elapses. Full Text


Commercial Use Defense’s Effect on Patent and M&A Strategies
The Legal Intelligencer
November 7, 2012

The commercial use defense set forth in the America Invents Act created a new defense to patent infringement, and several best practices have been prompted as a result. Documentation policies should be revised to help ensure that important trade secrets for a product line can take advantage of this new defense. Due diligence checklists for mergers and acquisitions should also be updated to ensure that important information related to this new defense be obtained and evaluated because early assessments of such information can impact the negotiation strategy and valuation of the acquisition target. Full Text


Is RICO a Remedy in Garden-Variety Business Contract Disputes?
The Legal Intelligencer
October 24, 2012

Congress has long resisted pleas from federal courts to circumscribe civil RICO to preclude a remedy for so-called “garden variety” business disputes. These courts, including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, thought RICO should be unavailable in cases arising from contractual disputes between sophisticated business entities, but historically permitted such claims to proceed, believing they were bound to do so by the language of RICO and its statutorily mandated “broad application.” Full Text


What In-House Counsel Need to Know About Workplace Bullying
The Legal Intelligencer
October 17, 2012

We all remember the adolescent bully who made grade school and high school an unbearable experience for many. But what happens when your playground nemesis grows up to become your co-worker or, even worse, your boss? Full Text


Protecting Confidential Information and IP Amid Employee Mobility
The Legal Intelligencer
October 10, 2012

A company’s ability to maintain the confidentiality of its trade secrets and other sensitive information is affected to a significant degree by employee mobility. An exiting employee can leave with a company’s confidential information, risking loss of trade secrets and serious harm to the company. Additionally, incoming employees can threaten a company’s confidential information by contaminating it with proprietary information from a prior employer. Full Text


Compliance With Anti-Bribery and New Data Privacy Regulations
The Legal Intelligencer
October 3, 2012

For many years the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has been the dominant anti-bribery regulation affecting multinational companies. More recently, the U.K. Bribery Act of 2010 has been in the spotlight, with a broader jurisdictional reach and subject-matter scope. Complying with these and other anti-bribery laws often requires companies with global operations to transfer data across borders. Full Text


The Effects of Social Media on the Workplace
The Legal Intelligencer
September 26, 2012

Giving your opinion on politics or complaining about the boss to your friends via Facebook is so commonplace and rampant that few people probably stop to think about the consequences of their posting. Full Text


General Counsel’s Role in a Financially Distressed Company
The Legal Intelligencer
September 19, 2012

On April 25, we published an article in The Legal titled “Identifying Signs a Company is in Financial Distress.” That article addressed the issues that general counsel should look to for indications that a company is either in or sliding into a financially distressed situation. Full Text


How to Protect Intellectual Property When Crowdfunding
The Legal Intelligencer
September 12, 2012

The passage of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (the JOBS Act) into law in April and the recent successes of the online funding site Kickstarter have raised crowdfunding’s profile in the public consciousness. Crowdfunding is a way of raising capital from a large number of small donors. Full Text


Applying Patent Teachings in Products Liability Cases
The Legal Intelligencer
September 5, 2012

In a products liability design defect action, evidence establishing the defectiveness of a product is paramount to a plaintiff’s case. Some jurisdictions require the plaintiff to bear the burden of offering evidence of a safer design (often defined as a “reasonable alternative design” or “feasible alternative design”). Full Text


The Application of Attorney-Client Privilege to Email Strings
The Legal Intelligencer
August 22, 2012

Interesting issues relating to the Pennsylvania attorney-client privilege arise in the context of an email string or email chain involving corporate employees, where some, but not all, communications on the string are with counsel. Prior to the widespread use of email, many corporate decisions were made in face-to-face meetings with counsel present. Full Text.


Predictive Coding: Rise of the Machines?
The Legal Intelligencer
August 15, 2012

The most expensive part of the discovery process in litigation is document review. In a case involving millions of documents, armies of law firm associates or contract attorneys must spend weeks (if not months) reviewing documents prior to producing them to the adversary. Full Text

Use of Criminal Convictions and Arrests in Employment Decisions
The Legal Intelligencer
August 8, 2012

On the subject of criminal background checks, employers are often caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. On the one hand, use of criminal background checks can, and has, led to discrimination lawsuits in a variety of contexts. On the other, background checks can provide relevant information about candidates and can help the employer avoid a negligent hiring lawsuit. Full Text

What Employers Need to Know About the Virtual Water Cooler
The Legal Intelligencer
August 1, 2012

The familiar informal conversations around the office water cooler have largely disappeared from today’s corporate world. That’s because they have mostly migrated online, where social media websites have swiftly assumed the role of a virtual water cooler. Full Text


The Benefit of Budgeting Legal Fees for New Matters
The Legal Intelligencer
July 25, 2012

For several reasons, I have come to think that it is valuable to prepare a budget in nearly all new legal matters. Full Text


Insurance Holding Company Act Amendments of 2012
The Legal Intelligencer
July 18, 2012

During the 2008-09 global financial crisis, no major U.S. insurance company became insolvent. However, the mammoth AIG empire shook to its core and exacerbated a worldwide financial crisis due to the activities of a relatively obscure London-based, noninsurance subsidiary trading derivative securities. Full Text



Attorney-Client Privilege Within the Client Organization, Part III
The Legal Intelligencer
July 11, 2012

This series of articles has explored the application of the attorney-client privilege within the client organization, using the context of an internal investigation as a point of reference. Full Text


Predicting the Future of Predictive Coding
The Legal Intelligencer
June 27, 2012

A decade ago, document review meant a small militia of lawyers sitting in a windowless warehouse surrounded by bankers’ boxes full of paper documents. Now, thanks to extreme information inflation, the bulk of document review takes place electronically. Full Text


Advertisements May Be Dangerous to Your Company’s Wealth
The Legal Intelligencer
June 20, 2012

When Vibram, the “FiveFinger” shoe company, was hauled into federal court in Boston in late March, it became the latest prominent business swept up in the growing wave of consumer class actions based on false advertising claims. That wave does not yet appear to have reached its crest, and with recent revisions to the “green” labeling guidelines, it may be far from its peak. Full Text



Attorney-Client Privilege Within the Client Organization, Part II
The Legal Intelligencer
June 13, 2012

This series of articles explores the application of the attorney-client privilege within the client organization, using the context of an internal investigation as a point of reference. In this installment, I address who is not (and should not become) the client, the necessity that the lawyer involved in the communication be acting as such and the expectation of confidentiality required for the privilege to apply. Full Text


What In-House Counsel Want From Attorneys and Law Firms
The Legal Intelligencer
June 6, 2012

Among a law firm’s eternal questions is how to best market to in-house counsel. Because in-house counsel are clients of our clients, we are always seeking venues to hear firsthand perspectives on how to do this. What breaks through the barrage of material they receive and differentiates an attorney or law firm? What has motivated them to take the leap of faith required to give a lawyer his or her first chance doing work for the company? What then makes them willing to expand that share of the available work? Full Text


Achieving Tax-Exempt Status Now Depends on HUP Test
The Legal Intelligencer
May 30, 2012

On April 25, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a potentially explosive decision to any nonprofit organization possessing tax-exempt status or seeking to qualify for tax-exempt status as a “purely public charity” in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In Mesitvah Eitz Chaim of Bobov v. Pike County Board of Assessment Appeals , No. 16 MAP 2011, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that any nonprofit organization seeking to qualify for tax-exempt status as a purely public charity must, under Article VIII, §2 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, first meet all of the elements of the test announced in Hospital Utilization Project v. Commonwealth , 487 A.2d 1306, 1317 (Pa. 1985). Full Text


Three Uses of Social Media for Corporate Counsel
The Legal Intelligencer
May 16, 2012

By now, most litigators have bumped up against at least one or two social media issues in their practices. Social media has become a hot-button discovery issue and a potential source of valuable information in cases from personal injury to employment discrimination. Often, social media discovery requests are now included as a matter of course in individual plaintiff cases. Juries are using social media to broadcast, often improperly, about their cases while lawyers scour social media during voir dire looking for juror bias. Full Text


Managing Risk With an ‘Austerity Workforce’
The Legal Intelligencer
May 9, 2012

Aside from the hopelessly clueless, everyone in the legal industry knows about the mounting pressure on general counsel to do more with less. Some may wonder whether today’s austerity measures are simply a function of present circumstance or the mantra for a new era in corporate legal services. But GCs will tell you that escalating cost pressures are neither a fad nor a trend. Full Text


The Challenging Personalities in Employee Performance Reviews
The Legal Intelligencer
May 2, 2012

Performance reviews are essential to the success of both individual employees and their employers. A meeting between the employee and his or her manager for the express purpose of discussing the employee’s performance provides an opportunity for an honest dialogue. Full Text


Identifying Signs a Company Is in Financial Distress
The Legal Intelligencer
April 25, 2012

General counsel play a unique role in the context of a company. They must be an employee of the company while maintaining the foresight to identify issues that the management of that company might not identify, or might not want to identify. Full Text


An Employer’s Duty to Report Crimes by Employees to Police
The Legal Intelligencer
April 18, 2012

Over the past decade, many European countries have passed laws mandating that individuals and employers report criminal conduct. In the United States, however, individuals are typically not required to report criminal conduct that they have observed. Full Text


Section 337 of the Tariff Act: A New Weapon in the War Against Foreign Trade Secret Misappropriation
The Legal Intelligencer
April 11, 2012

It has become a fact of economic life for U.S. businesses that products are simply less expensive to manufacture abroad and import back into the United States for sale. This fact has compelled many U.S. companies to outsource their manufacturing and other processes to companies operating in countries with less regulation, lower wages and cheaper raw materials. Full Text


Managing Costs as Health Care Law Decision Looms
The Legal Intelligencer
April 4, 2012

While awaiting a decision from the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) — a.k.a. Obamacare — companies of all sizes continue to grapple with the ever-increasing cost of health care benefits for their employees. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, health insurance costs rose between 8 and 9 percent in 2011 and have more than doubled since 2001. There are, however, ways to “bend the cost curve” without waiting for the Supreme Court or Congress. Full Text


What to Consider When Deciding to Issue a Litigation Hold
The Legal Intelligencer
March 28, 2012

A company is obligated to preserve evidence when it “reasonably anticipates” litigation. Failure to issue a written litigation hold at that time can constitute gross negligence. (See Pension Committee of the University of Montreal Pension Plan v. Banc of America Securities , 685 F. Supp. 2d 456 (S.D.N.Y. 2010) (Scheindlin, J.).) Full Text


Second Circuit Stays Challenge to SEC’s Settlement Policy
The Legal Intelligencer
March 21, 2012

On March 15, a panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay of the district court litigation brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission against Citigroup Global Markets Inc. The district court had rejected a settlement and consent judgment agreed upon by the parties in a decision that threatens to disrupt the SEC’s long-standing policy of settling cases without demanding an admission of wrongdoing. Full Text


Navigating the Winding Road of Pennsylvania Privilege Law
The Legal Intelligencer
March 14, 2012

A little more than a year ago, using now well-known language, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared that the attorney-client privilege is a “two-way street.” In Gillard v. AIG Insurance Co., the court held that the protections of the attorney-client privilege apply both to communications from an attorney to the client, as well as to communications from the client to the attorney. Full Text



The ABCs of Nonprofit Organization General Counsel Issues
The Legal Intelligencer
March 7, 2012

As the president of a nonprofit corporation, I find myself frequently presented with issues very similar to those faced by many of my clients. Having counseled nonprofit organizations for more than seven years, I have gained insight into both the legal and practical issues they routinely confront. Full Text


Keep Costs in Mind While Guiding Clients Through Litigation
The Legal Intelligencer
February 29, 2012

I have struggled as a transactional lawyer and as general counsel to manage litigation for clients. Full Text


Stepping Stones to Developing More In-House Pro Bono
The Legal Intelligencer
February 22, 2012

Pro bono legal work was once the sole province of law firms. But no more. Now that terrain is increasingly being inhabited by in-house legal departments, too, according to Esther Lardent, president and CEO of the Pro Bono Institute. “What we’ve seen over the last decade is this amazing growth,” Lardent said. “It’s like a quiet revolution.” Full Text


The Stop Online Piracy Act and the High Seas of the Internet Age
The Legal Intelligencer
February 15, 2012

A few weeks ago, Congress quickly shelved the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) after incurring vocal public outrage led by Web giants such as Google and Wikipedia. SOPA and PIPA both sought to require the blacklisting of websites that facilitate online piracy. For example, search engines would have to exclude offending sites from search results and third-party payment processing companies like PayPal could not do business with them. Full Text


What Pa. Employers Must Know About Medical Marijuana
The Legal Intelligencer
February 8, 2012

Laws allowing the use of medical marijuana have been put in place or are being put in place across the country. Is Pennsylvania set to join those ranks? Currently, use of marijuana for certain medical reasons is allowed in a number of states including, but not limited to: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. Furthermore, there are a number of states with medical marijuana legislation pending: Alabama, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Full Text


Where Super Bowl Ads Meet Corporate Compliance
The Legal Intelligencer
February 1, 2012

For most American football fans, the upcoming Super Bowl conjures fantasies of casual parties, junk food, beer, Madonna’s halftime performance and, er … wardrobe malfunctions. Even those who are not football diehards eagerly await the parade of commercials, one funnier than the next, advertising everything from automobiles to snack food. Full Text


A Program for Colleges Without Lawyers to Call Their Own
The Legal Intelligencer
January 25, 2012

When sexual abuse allegations against assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky first surfaced at Penn State University in 1998, the school didn’t have an in-house lawyer. For legal counsel, Penn State relied primarily on the services of a single lawyer at a local firm. It was 12 years before the school hired a lawyer of its own. Full Text


Developing a Game Plan to Mitigate Loss From Data Breach
The Legal Intelligencer
January 17, 2012

As more and more of our business and personal activity is done online, “cyberrisk” becomes more prominent and the financial risk grows for both individuals and companies. The predominant issue for many is the concern of data breach. Data breach can take many forms, but all of them involve personal information — such as credit card numbers, Social Security numbers or passwords — being released to an untrusted environment. Full Text


When ‘The Law’ Is in the Lobby:
The Legal Intelligencer
January 12, 2012

It is 7 a.m. You grab a cup of coffee and head out the door to catch the train to your job as in-house counsel. As you take your seat on the train, you pull out your BlackBerry to review your calendar. Full Text


GCs Fear Changing Business Conditions Most in 2012
The Legal Intelligencer
January 4, 2012

General counsel are the nerve center of the company. They have to make it their business to know something about every business their corporation works in. And they are paid to worry about what former U.S. Department of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld called “unknown unknowns.” So who better in the company to ask what issues they are most concerned about in 2012? Full Text


Best Practices for Managing Risk in the Marcellus Shale Region
The Legal Intelligencer
December 28, 2011

Companies that either lease land for hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) or provide goods, services or workers to gas companies in the Marcellus Shale region should routinely re-evaluate their risk management strategies. A flurry of recent media attention in the last month of 2011 has provided these businesses with additional motivation to take stock of potential exposures moving forward into 2012. Full Text


How to Achieve a Lasting Peace in Mass Tort Settlements
The Legal Intelligencer
December 21, 2011

Mass tort claims can present a tremendous financial and legal burden on a company. In-house counsel recommending settlement of a mass tort to company management, often at significant cost, must be confident that the settlement will buy a lasting and comprehensive peace. There are several key negotiating points that can help in-house counsel achieve such finality. Full Text


Reining in the Costs and Risks of Patent Litigation
The Legal Intelligencer
December 14, 2011

Patent litigation is one of the largest costs facing high-tech companies. Because of the high cost of patent litigation, the litigation can sometimes be thought of as a “bet-the-company” risk. Full Text


CLOs Spending More, Looking Beyond Firms for Legal Services
The Legal Intelligencer
November 30, 2011

Chief legal officers may be loosening their grip on the corporate purse strings — but only by a little bit, according to a survey released Tuesday by consulting firm Altman Weil. Full Text



Salaries Stagnate in 2010 for the South’s Richest GCs
The Legal Intelligencer
November 23, 2011

The latest volume in the story of general counsel pay is not a thriller. But it’s not a tear-jerker, either. Full Text


Unpaid Internships Swan Song?
The Legal Intelligencer
November 16, 2011

Many companies have a long-standing practice of engaging college students or other industry initiates as unpaid interns. These internship programs can provide benefits both to the interns and to the companies that engage them. What could be wrong with that? According to the U.S. Department of Labor, these arrangements could violate the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Full Text


Rethinking Fee Arrangements Can Reveal Untapped Opportunities
The Legal Intelligencer
November 9, 2011

Hourly billing has been the primary mode of invoicing clients for more than 50 years. During that time, attorney behavior and expectations, performance evaluations, compensation schemes, marketing materials, financial analysis, accounting and a slew of supporting systems have been aligned to make the billable hour work. Full Text


Fewer, Cheaper, Better: The Evolution of Buying Strategy for GCs
The Legal Intelligencer
November 2, 2011

The extended economic dry spell has forced all sectors of industry to rethink how they purchase products and services in the endless hunt for cost reduction and competitive advantage. Full Text


Employee Facebook Comments as Protected Activity
The Legal Intelligencer
October 26, 2011

Consider this scenario: A supervisor contacts legal to report that an employee’s publicly viewable Facebook page complains about the company and calls the supervisor a “scumbag.” Full Text


Occupy Wall Street’s Lessons on Messaging and Crisis Management
The Legal Intelligencer
October 19, 2011

Much has been said in recent weeks about the Occupy Wall Street protests in Lower Manhattan. Critics allege that the protestors lack direction, have failed to convey a cohesive message and haven’t delivered a set of concrete policy demands that would legitimize their complaints. Without further structure, critics argue, it’s hard to tell what this protest is all about. Full Text


Going In-House at Apple With Steve Jobs’ Former GC
When Doing Business in Nigeria, ‘Touts’ Can Lead to FCPA Violations
The Legal Intelligencer
October 12, 2011

Before he became general counsel at Apple Inc. in 2007, Oracle’s then-GC, Daniel Cooperman, was on a business trip in China and his boss’ best friend called him with a question. That friend was Steve Jobs, whose company had cycled through two top lawyers back-to-back and was now facing a vacuum in Apple’s law department. Full Text


When Doing Business in Nigeria, ‘Touts’ Can Lead to FCPA Violations
The Legal Intelligencer
October 6, 2011

To the untrained eye, they often appear as scrubby derelict vagabonds, haunting the steps of administrative offices throughout the developing world. Yet, this unassuming guise belies their predatory importance as quasi-official intermediaries — serving as both roadblocks and essential intercessors. Full Text


What to Do If Your Lawyer Moonlights as a Dominatrix
The Legal Intelligencer
September 28, 2011

Imagine this: You come into work on a Monday morning to find out one of the most accomplished lawyers in your legal department is actually moonlighting as a dominatrix. What do you do? Full Text


EEOC Continues to Target Inflexible Leaves-of-Absence, Attendance Policies
The Legal Intelligencer
September 21, 2011

Since the enactment of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, and its broadening of the definition of “disability,” employers have recognized that they will be faced with an increased number of requests for reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Full Text


West Takes Helm of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association
The Legal Intelligencer
September 14, 2011

It was a natural disaster that put Joe West on the path to his new perch at the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA). Hurricane Katrina tore the roof off West’s New Orleans home, divided his exiled family between Florida and Texas, and scattered the law department where he worked among three or four different locations. Every weekend for six months West flew from his remote work site in Houston to visit his wife and children at his mother-in-law’s house in Orlando. Full Text


Examining the Evolving ‘Power’ of Today’s General Counsel
The Legal Intelligencer
September 7, 2011

In the rise and fall of industries, Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter’s most famous phrase — “creative destruction” — describes the fall that precipitates the rise of the next era, the moment when the old ways come crashing down. It’s a fate from which the legal industry is not immune. Full Text


In Wake of Student’s Death, Colleges Revisit Online Harassment
The Legal Intelligencer
August 31, 2011

As the new academic year begins at Rutgers University, some things about dorm living have changed. There are now more housing options for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students. It’s not only because of Tyler Clementi, but his death certainly played a role. Full Text


Down Economy, Increased Regulation Impact Corporate Fraud
The Legal Intelligencer
August 24, 2011

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” Only now, with a down economy and an uptick in new compliance measures, that web has grown even more tangled – as shown by two new reports on fraud. Full Text


The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Class of 2011: Hacking
The Legal Intelligencer
August 17, 2011

The previous column in this series -”The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Class of 2011: The Cloud” – discussed cloud computing and what it means to corporate counsel. To read it, visit www.corpcounsel.com. Full Text


Credit-Rating Downgrade May Keep In-House Lawyers Busy
The Legal Intelligencer
August 10, 2011

Standard & Poor’s removal of the AAA credit rating the United States has held for 70 years has generated a lot of finger pointing at and within the federal government. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the agency showed “terrible judgment” and a “stunning lack of knowledge” about what it takes to develop the federal budget. The agency stood by its rating over the weekend, and some members of Congress have called for Geithner’s removal, citing his relentless push of failed economic policies. Full Text


Will Rupert Murdoch Be the FCPA Fish the DOJ Can’t Land?
The Legal Intelligencer
August 3, 2011

As Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. survive the first round of Parliamentary committee chastisement in the U.K., is the U.S. Department of Justice eyeing the media conglomerate and its disgraced chairman. Full Text


News Corp. Takes a Pie for the Team, Earns Media Home Run
The Legal Intelligencer
July 27, 2011

So was the pie-throwing attack on Rupert Murdoch a setup? Was it all just a publicity stunt designed to draw attention away from his testimony before the British parliamentary committee? Full Text


Female GC Tops Compensation Survey for First Time
The Legal Intelligencer
July 20, 2011

Well, that wasn’t so bad, was it? If last year’s GC Compensation Survey from Corporate Counsel magazine, a Legal affiliate, showed the after-effects – the hangover, if you will – of the deepest trough of the recession, this year’s results show that chief legal officers made steady gains and recovered some momentum. Full Text


In-House Counsel Tips for Landing an Outside Counsel Gig
The Legal Intelligencer
July 13, 2011

Meeting outside counsel aspiring to get on the company panel is a small but important part of my job, and one that I enjoy. Full Text


What Are the Preservation Obligations of Litigation Nonparties?
The Legal Intelligencer

July 6, 2011

The CEO was livid, and justifiably so, after being informed that his company’s supplier intended to breach its supply agreement. It was evident that the path going forward would lead to litigation, and lawyers were summoned to begin immediate work on a complaint. Full Text


What I Learned In-House That Helps Me Succeed in a Law Firm
The Legal Intelligencer
June 29, 2011

I was an in-house attorney at a chemical company in the mid-1980s. I was responsible for a nationwide docket of products liability and commercial litigation. Full Text


Missing Something? The Other Side of Unclaimed Property
The Legal Intelligencer
June 22, 2011

Escheat: Most of us did not learn this word in law school, but it is the historical concept that has evolved into modern unclaimed property law. Full Text


Is E-Verify Requirement Coming to Pennsylvania Employers?
The Legal Intelligencer
June 15, 2011

On May 26, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Legal Arizona Workers Act against a federal pre-emption challenge. Signed into law by then-Gov. Janet Napolitano in 2007, the law mandates that all Arizona employers use E-Verify or lose their license to do business in the state. E-Verify is a federal electronic system that checks information provided by an employee on the I-9 form against information contained in Social Security, Homeland Security and Department of State databases. Full Text


Conversation With PepsiCo GC Maura Abeln Smith
The Legal Intelligencer
June 8, 2011

Women have made a lot of progress in the legal and corporate worlds, Maura Abeln Smith says, but they’re still having trouble getting into the top jobs. That hasn’t been a problem for Smith herself. Last month, she became the new legal chief at PepsiCo Inc., her fourth GC gig in two decades. But Smith says she’s been successful because she’s had some extraordinary opportunities — key among them, being one of the first women to win a Rhodes Scholarship. Full Text


Twitter GC Joins British Debate Over Free Speech
The Legal Intelligencer
June 1, 2011

It’s an unlikely way to begin a legal debate that may point the way toward global free speech rights on the Internet. But a British athlete’s sexual affair has triggered it, and caught in the middle is the pithy social website Twitter and its general counsel, Alexander Macgillivray, who’s been busy tweeting about user rights. Full Text


It’s No Longer a Pinstripe World: Navigating Workplace Dress Codes
The Legal Intelligencer
May 25, 2011

Tattoos. Piercings. Bare midriffs. Messages on clothing that are political or tasteless, or that endorse competitors. Hair that is too long or too messy. Full Text


The Essential Elements of a Successful Diversity Program
The Legal Intelligencer
May 18, 2011

As lawyers, our personalities and predispositions tend to make it difficult for us to alter the status quo. We are inclined to be risk-averse and don’t like rocking the boat. This may be appropriate when it comes to advising our clients – but not when hiring and promoting lawyers within our own organizations. Full Text


University of Minnesota GC Responds to Critics
The Legal Intelligencer
May 11, 2011

University of Minnesota General Counsel Mark Rotenberg is catching fallout over what some have interpreted as his effort to limit attacks on the school’s psychiatry department. Great minds may think alike, but on this issue Rotenberg begs to differ. Full Text


Facebook’s Impact on Compliance Codes
The Legal Intelligencer
May 4, 2011

The film “The Social Network” did not just tell the fascinating story of Facebook’s rise to a social media power house. It showed how society is increasingly using social platforms as one of its primary channels for communication. Full Text


Online Behavioral Advertising and ‘Do Not Track Me’
The Legal Intelligencer
April 27, 2011

On March 16, the Federal Trade Commission appeared before the Senate Commerce Committee to present testimony about recent efforts to protect consumer privacy on the Internet. The testimony was centered on a preliminary FTC staff report, released in December 2010, which recommends procedures for companies to protect online consumers from the practice of data mining their personal information to be used in behavioral advertising. Full Text


Judge Criticizes SunTrust Lawyers in Mortgage Insurance Case
The Legal Intelligencer
April 20, 2011

Two years after SunTrust Bank sued an American International Group unit for fraud and breach of contract connected to AIG insurance policies covering soured mortgages, SunTrust is suddenly having to play defense. Full Text


The FDA and Social Media: A Prescription for Online Confusion
The Legal Intelligencer
April 13, 2011

Are you wondering what the Food and Drug Administration is thinking about drugs? Just follow them on Twitter. And if you don’t like reading 140 characters or fewer Tweets, check out the FDA on Facebook. Don’t like Facebook? No problem. You can always use LinkedIn to see what many of their employees are talking about. Full Text


Reed Smith Offering Advisory Group for Harried GCs
The Legal Intelligencer
April 6, 2011

Sometimes general counsel wish they could just bounce a problem or a novel issue off a more experienced lawyer, but they’re not sure whom to call or how much such advice might cost. Full Text


In-House, Firm Lawyers Debate Fair Fixed-Fee Arrangements
The Legal Intelligencer
March 30, 2011

The difficulties facing law firms and large corporate clients in shifting from hourly billing to alternative fee arrangements were illustrated in a conversation between an in-house and firm lawyer at Thursday’s meeting of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Georgia chapter, held at the law firm Sutherland. Full Text


Falling In and Out of Love With an In-House Move
The Legal Intelligencer
March 23, 2011

I remember when I was in high school, and dreamed of being elected president of a particular organization. Full Text


The Idiot’s Guide: Influencing Strategies for In-House Lawyers
The Legal Intelligencer
March 16, 2011

There are days (and I’m sure that every in-house lawyer has them) when it seems like nobody is listening to me. When my client nods politely as I advise on the problems with their project, and then goes off and does exactly what they were going to do anyway. Full Text


Upcoming Case of Imprisoned Exec Carries Major Privilege Implications
The Legal Intelligencer
March 9, 2011

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is due to rule next week in a case that could decide just how far prosecutors can go to pierce a corporate executive’s attorney-client privilege. Full Text


As GC Departs, Energy Dept. Office More Aggressive, Open
The Legal Intelligencer
March 2, 2011

In his corner office with views of the U.S. Capitol and the National Mall, Department of Energy General Counsel Scott Blake Harris looks like the consummate lawyer in his dark suit, French-collared shirt and yellow silk tie. Full Text


Take It From a Former GC: The Numbers and Metrics That Matter
The Legal Intelligencer
February 23, 2011

Take it from a former in-house attorney: Metrics are essential in choosing which outside counsel to engage and retain. Unfortunately, in my experience, we rarely use metrics in making these decisions, and even when we do so, we often use vague, subjective satisfaction evaluations or make the mistake of evaluating an entire law firm instead of the attorneys within that firm who will perform our service. Full Text


Legal-IT Collaboration: An Oxymoron No Longer?
The Legal Intelligencer
February 16, 2011

At a recent corporate client meeting held to determine whether an in-house legal e-discovery tool would be a good fit, the first item on the agenda was the cost. Before getting started, however, we had to stop the meeting so the IT and legal personnel charged with e-discovery compliance could introduce themselves to each other. Here it was, a meeting in 2011 about e-discovery, and the key players on both sides had never met. Full Text


Why Corporate Counsel Should Lose Sleep Over the Federal Wiretap Act
The Legal Intelligencer
February 9, 2011

Once seen only in the shadows of the war against organized crime, the Federal Wiretap Act should now be moving steadily and rapidly toward the top of the corporate compliance checklist. Robust civil remedies, recent court decisions and technological developments have transformed the act’s risk profile from a nonevent to a statute worthy of significant attention. Full Text


In the Long Winter of E-Discovery, a Glimmer of Spring
The Legal Intelligencer
February 2, 2011

If you’re sick to death of wondering and worrying about the requirements and expense of litigation holds, help may be on the way. The federal Judicial Conference is on the case, and there seems to be a growing consensus on its civil rules advisory committee that the answer should be a proposed change to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Full Text


Understanding Databases Essential in E-Discovery
The Legal Intelligencer
January 26, 2011

Databases touch our lives every day. Our computers, phones and e-mail are databases. Google, Westlaw, Craigs­list, Amazon, eBay, Facebook: all big ­databases. Full Text


Don’t Outsource In-House Counsel, Transform Them
The Legal Intelligencer
January 19, 2011

The fundamental goal for legal departments today is to validate the legal budget as a business enabler driving greater profits. This goal represents a huge change from the traditional approach of focusing only on reducing risk. This article explores three key challenges at the center of this change – procurement, talent needs and outsourcing – and offers solutions to achieve it in the near future. Full Text


Taking the Guesswork Out of Budgeting for Noncompete Litigation
The Legal Intelligencer
January 12, 2011

Developing a budget for any type of litigation can be daunting. With its front-loaded cost structure and unpredictability, noncompete litigation is particularly challenging. But without a working budget, in-house counsel can feel like they are entering a battle blind. They don’t have to. The key to hitting the mark in budgeting for noncompete litigation is recognizing what you can control and continually adjusting to account for what you cannot. Full Text


GC Finds Satisfaction in Career Spanning EEOC to HR
The Legal Intelligencer
January 5, 2011

As a student employee at UCLA’s law library, Wanda Flowers filed books in the stacks, riffling pages to scan for loose papers, rips and pencil marks. The young woman from Jacksonville, Fla., who as a child would race to her community bookmobile to return her well-thumbed but lovingly cared-for borrowed volumes, was horrified to find that students were slicing pages out of the law books. Full Text


A Site (Un)Seen: Using Social Media in Hiring Decisions
The Legal Intelligencer
December 22, 2010

started a couple of years ago my interest in social networking websites, that is. My wife, Jamie, had just gotten off a call with one of her oldest friends. Apparently, her friend had just joined some computer-based group that enabled her to get back in touch with some of her childhood friends with whom she had lost contact. Jamie asked me, “Have you ever heard of something called Facebook?” Full Text


In Today’s Market, Clients Seeking Cost Certainty
The Legal Intelligencer
December 15, 2010

The Citi Private Bank Law Watch Third Quarter 2010 results indicated that firms continue to experience flat revenue growth. The current state of the legal industry has been aptly described by a number of managing partners we’ve talked to as: “a smaller market with more competitors.” Full Text


From Putting them in their Place to Helping them Find their Place: Flowers Career Spans Nonprofits, the EEOC, Corporations and now Human Resources
The Legal Intelligencer

December 7, 2010

As a student employee at UCLA’s law library, Wanda Flowers filed books in the stacks, riffling pages to scan for loose papers, rips and pencil marks. The young woman from Jacksonville, Fla., who as a child would race to her community bookmobile to return her well-thumbed but lovingly cared-for borrowed volumes, was horrified to find that students were slicing pages out of the law books. Full Text


Comings & Goings
The Legal Intelligencer

December 7, 2010

For the first time in its 140-year history, Stevens Institute of Technology will have a general counsel. Kathy Schulz, formerly the associate general counsel at Yale University, has been named the Hoboken, N.J., school’ s vice president, general counsel and secretary. Full Text


Study Finds In-House Salary Increases Decreasing, But Does It Matter?
The Legal Intelligencer

December 7, 2010

The past few years have seen dramatic shake-ups in private practice, including mass layoffs and significant salary cuts. Full Text



Cost Becoming Less of a Concern for In-House Counsel: Change Could be Result of Rate Discounts and Alternative Fee Arrangements
The Legal Intelligencer

December 7, 2010

High costs are still far and away the biggest bone of contention in-house counsel have with their outside lawyers, but there are a number of factors that show rates are becoming less of a concern than in the past. Full Text


May You Live in Less Interesting Times: The Value of a Regulatory and Policy -Audit’
The Legal Intelligencer

December 7, 2010

There’ s an old curse that goes, – May you live in interesting times.- Today, many clients certainly wish they lived in less interesting times. Full Text


Will You Remain Master of Your Domain … Name?
The Legal Intelligencer
Decmber 1, 2010

The structure of the Internet is about to fundamentally change. Full Text


Md.-Based Discovery Communications Names New GC
The Legal Intelligencer
November 24, 2010

Discovery Communications Inc., the folks who brought you “The Crocodile Hunter” and “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” can boast another addition to the company’s lineup, this time in the legal department: Bruce Campbell, its new chief development officer and general counsel. Full Text


All Lawyers Need to Make Time for Social Media
The Legal Intelligencer
November 17, 2010

One year in college, my brother and I decided to unplug the cable and go without television programs for an entire year. Full Text


Winging It at Twitter: Social Media Site’s Legal Team Faces
The Legal Intelligencer
November 10, 2010

When Twitter wanted to let users see YouTube videos and photos without leaving the site, in-house lawyer Bakari Brock offered more than legal advice. Full Text


Paging Dr. Seuss: Unusual Presentation a Highlight of ACC Meeting
The Legal Intelligencer
November 3, 2010

Memorable mom ents at conferences sometimes come in surprising places. Or through surprising juxtapositions. The Association of Corporate Counsel’s annual meeting had both in one session. Full Text


For GCs, It’s Not ‘What’s in a Name?’ but ‘What’s in That Number?’
The Legal Intelligencer
October 27, 2010

There’s lots of evidence that in-house law departments are awash in statistics. Full Text


Top GCs: Flextime Can Help Women Lawyers Advance
The Legal Intelligencer
October 21, 2010

Could wider use of flexible work schedules make it easier for women lawyers to advance in their careers? The Project for Attorney Retention (PAR) thinks so, and it’s enlisted several general counsel to the cause. Full Text


The Gap Between Planning, Implementation of E-Discovery Programs
The Legal Intelligencer
October 13, 2010

This year saw a big jump in the number of companies that have a strategy for finding electronically stored data when it comes time for discovery, but a good portion of those companies have never tested their strategy or don’t know if it has been tested. Full Text


Fresh Faces in Top GC Spots at Recycling Co., University
The Legal Intelligencer
October 6, 2010

From Western Pennsylvania to Northern New Jersey, the last two months have seen new hires for the top legal spots at area companies Full Text


The Internal Value Challenge: New Strategies for Law Dept. Structure
The Legal Intelligencer
September 22, 2010

Cue the sound bites: “Law firms don’t get it.” “Their fees for legal work are exorbitant.” “General counsel refuse to pay the billing rates for $160,000 first-year associates.” “The incentive to record billable hours trumps true partnership with clients.” “Law firms are bastions of inefficiency.” “Big law is too fat.” “Clients deserve better value for their legal fees.” Full Text


Long-Awaited Ruling May Have Toyota Scrambling in Two States
The Legal Intelligencer
September 15, 2010

Dimitrios Biller will be able to introduce documents in his arbitration against his former employer, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., that the company had claimed were privileged. And if that news isn’t bad enough for the car manufacturer, a plaintiffs lawyer in Texas thinks the ruling may influence the judge in his client’s case to allow the same documents into a contempt proceeding against the car maker. Full Text

ABA Panel Gauges Level of Interest in National Law Licensing

The Legal Intelligencer
September 8, 2010

Should a lawyer’s license be like a driver’s license – good in every state, and not just the one in which it was issued? Attorneys have argued the question for years, but the debate was recently renewed in an online discussion hosted by the American Bar Association. And comments on the forum may carry weight: An ABA commission is currently reviewing how lawyers are regulated, and plans to recommend changes next year. Full Text


There’s No Crying in Law: 10 Tips to Bolster Attorneys’ Well-Being
The Legal Intelligencer
September 1, 2010

Being a “happiness guru” is hard work. My years as a labor lawyer battling Teamsters were easy in comparison. So was fighting my way up the corporate ladder at Coca-Cola Enterprises. But since I started working with Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania, the world-famous expert on the science of well-being, things have gotten really tough. All people want from me now is the secret to happiness. Full Text


Dewey Asks Clients to Consider Diversity in Partner Ranks
The Legal Intelligencer
August 25, 2010


For years, clients have pressured outside counsel to improve diversity at their law firms. Now some firms are initiating the diversity discussion themselves. Full Text


Achieving Legal Cost and Risk Reduction in Six Easy Steps
The Legal Intelligencer
August 18, 2010

Law departments continue to be challenged – challenged to cut costs, reduce risk, become more efficient – while budget increases are still elusive. Full Text


Real World Approaches to Executive Compensation Reform
The Legal Intelligencer

August 11, 2010

While the recent focus on excessive executive compensation has influenced the Wall Street Reform Act and other legislative and regulatory efforts to reform executive pay, practical suggestions for how companies can avoid the perils of bonus arrangements have been hard to come by. Full Text


Is Weight Bias the Next Challenge in Discrimination Law?
The Legal Intelligencer
August 4, 2010

With 2008 and 2009 presenting the highest number of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, charges in American legal history, one might think that discrimination challenges soon must peak. Full Text