Expert Columns


New arrivals and lateral moves in this week's column.

In-House Counsel Profile: Mohawk Industries Inc.'s David Patton

By June D. Bell |

"We try to run the business very efficiently and very lean."

VOIR DIRE: Free the Snowden Bust!

A bust of Edward Snowden that was erected overnight in a Brooklyn park is now the property of the 88th Precinct. Attorney Ron Kuby is attempting to help the artists bust out their bust. Plus more in this week's column.

Lessons from the Defanging in 'Dental Examiners'

By Janet McDavid and Logan Breed |

Supreme Court's ruling in teeth-whitening case puts limits on professional boards' sovereign immunity.

The $11M Lesson in Telephone Consumer Protection Compliance

By Rebekah Mintzer |

Want to let your customers know with a phone call or text that the items they need are ready for pickup? Think twice before you dial.

The Relevance of Howard University School of Law

By Vivia Chen |

One-fifth of its law school grads go into Big Law, despite its No. 110 rank.

Orin Kerr, left, and John Roberts Jr., right.

INADMISSIBLE: A Response to Roberts' Law-Review Gripe

Chief Justice John Roberts Jr.'s offhand 2011 criticism of law review articles has stung legal academics ever since. Nearly four years later, his comment has finally met its match in the form of … a law review article. Plus more in this week's column.

White-Collar Defendants Turn to Coercion Claims

By Laurie L. Levenson |

Ninth Circuit decision improves odds for individuals who say they were forced to commit crimes.

Hugh Welsh, general counsel and president of DSM North America.

In-House Counsel Profile: DSM North America's Hugh Welsh

DSM North America is a division of Koninklijke DSM N.V., a Dutch firm that North America president and general counsel Hugh Welsh calls "the biggest company you’ve never heard of."


Laterals and new arrivals in this week's column.

Jennifer Lawrence in <i>American Hustle</i>.

VOIR DIRE: 'Hustle' Tussle

Science writer Paul Brodeur says America's been hustled by "American Hustle." Plus, an energy drink suit gets sapped and a joyride with an owl gets a Florida man caught in federal talons in this week's column.

VOIR DIRE: No Anchovies, Please

They may be an acquired taste, but anchovies are integral ingredients in the making of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce. A New Jersey industrial landlord is claiming it found that out the hard way.

How to Handle the Deposition 'Do-Over'

By Robert L. Byman |

Procedural rules permit witnesses to submit changes to transcripts — but proceed with caution.

Federal Circuit Must Heed Trial Court Findings

By Lewis R. Clayton |

U.S. Supreme Court has determined that some patent law appeals aren't so special after all.

Matthew Jacobs, General Counsel of CalPERS.  HANDOUT.

In-House Counsel Profile: California Public Employees’ Retirement System's Matthew Jacobs

By June D. Bell |

General counsel Matthew Jacobs oversees 32 attorneys split into three groups: the advice team, which handles tax matters and helps interpret pension law; the investments group; and the litigation group.


Laterals and new arrivals in this week's column.

Springsteen farms

VOIR DIRE: Promised Land?

Famous New Jersey residents like Bruce Springsteen may have their tax breaks cropped. Plus more in this week's column.

art for Practice column

When Client Advocacy Becomes Personal Attack

By Douglas S. Lavine |

Portrayal of sniping, cut-throat trial lawyers in popular culture is influencing attorney conduct.


Lateral moves and new arrivals in this week's column.

Marc Bell, vice president, general counsel and secretary of Vector Group Ltd.

In-House Counsel Profile: Vector Group Ltd.'s Marc Bell

By Lisa Hoffman |

General counsel Marc Bell oversees corporate affairs and risk management at the holding-company level, and manages litigation for each of Vector's subsidiaries.

<b>NOT INCLUDED IN THE SALE:</b> The Brooklyn Bridge

VOIR DIRE: The Italian Job, Redux

It's the 21st century, and selling the Brooklyn Bridge is for amateurs. Plus more in this week's column.

Take Some Pride In Your Profession

By Adrian Dayton |

I hope that all lawyers can not only be proud of what they do, but have confidence that their knowledge can benefit their community both online and off.

Tom Daschle

INADMISSIBLE: Daschle Registers As A Lobbyist At Last

Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle registered with the federal government as a lobbyist for the first time in his career last week. Plus more in this week's column.

Ripple Effects from the High Court's Fishing Case

By Dan Webb and Robb Adkins |

The justices' narrow reading of a Sarbanes-Oxley provision could doom future obstruction charges.

VOIR DIRE: Informing on Idlers

New York City has a pretty tough law on the books aimed at drivers who idle too long in one spot, with fines of up to $220. City Council member Donovan Richards Jr. says the law isn't being enforced, and he has a better idea. Plus more in this week's column.


Laterals and new arrivals in this week's column.

Paul Ryan.

INADMISSIBLE: Paul Ryan, Chief of Staff Sued Over Crash

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, and his chief of staff, Kevin Seifert, face a $100,000 lawsuit over a car crash Seifert was involved in while driving Ryan's car last year. Plus more in this week's column.

William Reilly Jr., senior vice president and corporate general counsel of Ansell Ltd.

In-House Counsel Profile: Ansell Healthcare Products LLC's William Reilly Jr.

By Richard Acello |

"There are lots of alternative creative ways to bill, and the hourly fee is slowly but surely dying."

Five Reasons To Share Online

By Adrian Dayton |

When it comes to sharing articles on LinkedIn, Twitter and even by email, we need to embrace our inner toy-sharing toddler.


Laterals and new arrivals in this week's column.

INADMISSIBLE: Petraeus Pleads to Secrecy Violation

David Petraeus, the former CIA director who resigned in 2012 amid a sex scandal, will plead guilty to mishandling classified information. Prosecutors have agreed not to seek any jail time. Plus more in this week's column.

Delicate Lawyering Needed for Special-Needs Kids

By Mary Kay Kisthardt and Barbara Handschu |

More children than ever are diagnosed with medical and psychiatric difficulties. Attorneys must be ready.

Jae Kim, senior vice president and general counsel of Rambus.

In-House Counsel Profile: Rambus Inc.'s Jae Kim

By Richard Acello |

"I'm hands-off to the extent I can be, but I will roll up my sleeves and get involved in things where appropriate."

Notorious RBG

VOIR DIRE: A Lunch Supreme

When lunching with a U.S. Supreme Court justice, it appears most lawyers want to go the Notorious route. Plus more in this week's column.


New arrivals and lateral moves in this week's column.

<b>JUSTICE STEPHEN BREYER:</b> The U.S. Supreme Court justice wrote the dissenting opinion in <i>AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion</i>, a decision that upheld a class action waiver in consumer contracts.

Despite 'Concepcion,' Class Actions Live On

By Catherine L. Fisk |

The high court upheld a waiver of such suits, but a distinction emerges when public rights are at issue.

Loretta Lynch during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee to replace Eric Holder Jr. as the next U.S. Attorney General.  January 28, 2015.

INADMISSIBLE: Lynch Nomination Moves to Full Senate

Loretta Lynch's nomination for U.S. attorney general moved forward last week on Capitol Hill, where the full Senate is expected to take up a vote soon. Plus more in this week's column.

Avi Epstein, general counsel, chief compliance officer and principal at Sterling Partners.

In-House Counsel Profile: Sterling Partners LLC's Avi Epstein

By Richard Acello |

"We own 30 companies and we make all critical decisions. So rather than build a team of 10 lawyers, we find an expert for every type of legal need."

VOIR DIRE: Fifty Shades of Pay

Somebody's inner goddess is celebrating: Jenny Pedroza won a legal victory that may entitle her to a cut of the profits from the "Fifty Shades of Grey" book series. Plus more in this week's column.

From left to right: Dawn Goodfriend (older daughter), Sarah Goodfriend, Suzanne Bryant, Travis County clerk Dana DeBeauvoir and Ting Goodfriend (younger daughter)

IN BRIEF: Same-Sex Marriage in Texas

A lesbian couple was married on Feb. 19 in Travis County, Texas, in the first same-sex ceremony performed in that state. Plus more from and other ALM publications.

Maureen Mulholland of Monro Mufflers.

In-House Counsel Profile: Monro Muffler Brake Inc.'s Maureen Mulholland

By Richard Acello |

"We are constantly in hiring mode and always looking for talent."

Stephen Immelt.

INADMISSIBLE: Hogan Lovells' Gross Revenue Increases

Hogan Lovells reported an increase of 3.6 percent in its gross revenue for 2014, to $1.78 billion compared with 2013's $1.72 billion. Plus more in this week's column.


Laterals and new arrivals in this week's column.

Practice 0223

How Fair Are Appellate Panel Selections?

By Aaron S. Bayer |

Same-sex marriage challenge highlights array of factors courts take into account when assigning cases.

Psy doll

VOIR DIRE: No Psy-milarity

A doll cramps Psy's style, plus Texan civility and no more Hugo Caliente in this week's column.

Five Key Cybercrime and Cybersecurity Issues To Consider

By Mark L. Krotoski |

There are many facets to cybersecurity. This article highlights five key issues for consideration.

New Tools for Companies Against Cybercrime

By Nick Akerman |

Obama administration proposal would reduce legal ambiguities and allow civil RICO claims.

VOIR DIRE: A Tale of Two Terrios

Deney Terrio goes toe-to-toe with Hasbro over "Vinny Terrio." Plus: soured on Blackberry and the daily grind of the law in this week's column.

Snow-covered vehicles in the North End neighborhood of Boston this year.

IN BRIEF: Snowbound in Boston

Suffice it to say that the snow in Boston has lost its appeal. A three-week onslaught has hampered road and transit travel, forced court closures and tested law firms' ability to keep running. Plus more from and other ALM publications.

Ten Quick Ways to Build Your Network

By Adrian Dayton |

There is an old saying: "If you aren't growing, you are dying." So keep growing your LinkedIn network. You won't like the alternative.

Loretta Lynch.

INADMISSIBLE: Loretta Lynch Vote Awaiting 'Clarification'

U.S. attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch will have to wait another two weeks for her Senate Judiciary Committee vote, Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said during a committee meeting on Feb. 12. Plus more in this week's column.

Janice Block, executive vice president, chief legal, compliance and administrative officer of Kaplan, Inc.

In-House Counsel Profile: Kaplan Inc.'s Janice Levy Block

By Lisa Holton |

"Any time you have the opportunity to work with and get to know your regulators, it's good for all of us."


Laterals and new arrivals in this week's column.

Chief Justice John Roberts

Cy Pres Awards Don't Have to Be Complicated

By Arthur H. Bryant |

Critics say damages awarded to third parties are unjust, but courts are clear on the issue.


Laterals and new arrivals in this week's column.

Katy Perry performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLIX Halftime show at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

VOIR DIRE: Fin-ished

Left Shark infringement claims, obnoxious neighbors, and Mike Jones raps for a lawyer's Super Bowl ad in this week's column.

Rosemary Collyer.

INADMISSIBLE: 'One Millionth Discovery Dispute' Resolved

U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer appears ready to wash her hands of fights over evidence in a wrongful-­termination case pending since 2010. Plus more in this week's column.

Jonathan Drucker, general counsel of Godiva Chocolatier, Inc.

In-House Counsel Profile: Godiva Chocolatier Inc.'s Jon Drucker

By June D. Bell |

Drucker serves on the 14-member global leadership team, examines potential franchise opportunities and reviews marketing agreements, endorsements and public relations contracts. Oh, and he helps out at Godiva stores on Valentine's Day — the busiest day of the year.

biometric hand scan

VOIR DIRE: Devil to Pay?

Saying no to biometric hand scans on religious grounds; a brief respite for the Situation; and cold justice for fake Mister Softee trucks in this week's column.

Richard X. Fischer, EVP and general counsel of Clover Technologies Group.

In-House Counsel Profile: Clover Technologies Group LLC's Richard Fischer

By Lisa Holton |

General counsel Richard Fischer runs his department on what he calls the "working foreman" model.


Laterals and new arrivals in this week's column.

How to Stay Compliant Amid Overcriminalization

By George J. Terwilliger III |

Despite small steps to rein in investigations, companies must remain on high alert for problems.

Ted Olson of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

INADMISSIBLE: Gibson Dunn Gets $459K in Marriage Case

The commonwealth of Virginia will pay $520,000 to lawyers who successfully challenged the state's ban on same-sex marriage, including $459,000 to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Plus more in this week's column.

Big Data? How About No Data?

By Adrian Dayton |

A new survey tells us that although all firms measure some things — profits per partner or revenues, for example — they lack systems to take a hard look at the big picture. Here are examples of potentially valuable data that law firms are ignoring.


New arrivals and lateral moves in this week's column.

Your Checklist for Twitter Success

By Adrian Dayton |

To help lawyers make tools like LinkedIn and Twitter work for them and their practices, I've put together checklists — daily steps you can take. Recently, we talked about LinkedIn, and this week we look at Twitter.

VOIR DIRE: Not So Fast, Food

Eat and drive in Cobb County, Ga., at your own risk. Plus: art criticism in Belgium and a suit about the Dallas Cowboys Uncatch in this week's column.


Auction Requirement — Going Once, Going Twice

By William Savitt |

Delaware court rejects view that boards must consider multiple suitors when seeking a merger.

Robert Chesnut, SVP and general counsel of Chegg Inc.

In-House Counsel Profile: Chegg Inc.'s Rob Chesnut

By June D. Bell |

Rob Chesnut, who joined Chegg in 2010, was the company's first in-house lawyer.

‘Citizens United’ protest (2012)

INADMISSIBLE: 'Citizens United' Protest Disrupts Court

Protesters disrupted a U.S. Supreme Court session last week, rising one after another to shout criticism of the court's Citizens United campaign finance decision on the occasion of its fifth anniversary. Plus more in this week's column.

Aerial view of Jim Woodruff Lock and Dam, impounding Lake Seminole on the Chattahoochee River and Flint River confluence. The Apalachicola River flows out of the dam.  The dam spans the Florida–Georgia border, and also the border between Jackson and Gadsden Counties in Florida. The dam is located near Chattahoochee, Florida. This earth dam is over a mile long, and this photograph shows only the central concrete and steel lock and water control structure of the dam.

IN BRIEF: Water Dispute Expedited

A special master is resisting further delay in water-rights litigation between Florida and Georgia. Ralph Lancaster Jr. gave the states until mid-July to complete written discovery in their dispute over water from the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers. Plus more from and other ALM publications.

Splitting the Baby in International Arbitration

By Claudia T. Salomon |

In certain cases, arbitrators should consider dispositive motions and bifurcated proceedings.


New arrivals, laterals, and a new office in this week's column.

David Buckman, executive vice president and general counsel of AlliedBarton Security Services

In-House Profile: AlliedBarton Security Services LLC's David Buckman

By Richard Acello |

"I take the laptop home, and my iPhone is always with me."

2015: The Year the Law School Crisis Ended (or Not)—Part I

By Steven J. Harper |

A prediction for 2015: Rhetoric will obfuscate reality.

Scott Ellington, chief legal officer and general counsel of Highland Capital Management.

In-House Counsel Profile: Highland Capital Management L.P.'s Scott Ellington

By Richard Acello |

"There is always a project that is either current or prospective that I'm working on, so there's homework on Christmas morning, there's homework on Saturday nights."


Lateral moves and new arrivals in this week's column.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt. December 27, 1933.

What's In A Name? Could Be Ethics Violations

By Michael Downey |

An announcement by FDR's former law firm raises questions about firm monikers old and new.


IN BRIEF: Habeas Rejected For Chimp

An intermediate New York state appellate court has rejected a writ of habeas corpus to move a chimpanzee named Kiko from the Primate Sanctuary in Niagara Falls, N.Y., to a different sanctuary. Plus more from and other ALM publications.

Business man holding smartphone - close up picture

Here's Your To-Do List for LinkedIn

By Adrian Dayton |

If you feel inspired to finally start bringing in business through your online efforts, set aside 10 minutes per day, print out this list and get cranking.

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, center, with attorney Henry “Hank” Asbill, left, composes himself as he addresses the media outside federal court in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015.

INADMISSIBLE: McDonnell Sentenced, Eyes on the Appeal

Former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell's lawyers are wasting no time taking his public corruption conviction to a federal appeals court. Plus more in this week's column.

VOIR DIRE: A Total Bomb

There has to be a better way to rob an ATM. Plus, Atlantic City moves up in this week's column.

Christopher Cooper

INADMISSIBLE: Immigration Judges' Names Kept Secret

The identities of federal immigration judges who were the targets of misconduct complaints can remain confidential, a Washington federal judge has ruled. Plus more in this week's column.

Michael Jackson in court.  From the book <i>The Illustrated Courtroom</i> by Elizabeth Williams and Sue Russell.

VOIR DIRE: The Criminal Acts

Three courtroom artists who sketched some of the nation's most publicized trials during the past 50 years will showcase their work beginning on Jan. 2 at the Newport Beach Central Library in California. Plus: Siberia outdoes the IRS in this week's column.

practice illustration

Antitrust Enforcers Crack Down on 'Gun Jumpers'

By Janet McDavid and Leigh Oliver |

Agencies worldwide challenge transactions for unlawful cooperation between parties prior to closing.


Lateral moves, new arrivals, promotions and a new practice group in this week's column.

'Purple' Ruling Leaves Employers Feeling Blue

By Rebekah Mintzer |

NLRB allows union organizing via company email.

Hong Kong's Bar Passes a Test

By Michael Goldhaber |

To a journalist who sits across from distant Zuccotti Park, where the world Occupy movement got its chaotic start, Occupy Central was a model of disciplined civil disobedience. It was also the Hong Kong bar's finest hour.

VOIR DIRE: No More Pet Tats

In a little less than two months, it will be a crime to tattoo or pierce your pet in the state of New York. Plus: a New Jersey attorney's fight over unconstitutional parking tickets in this week's column.

Joanne Moffic-Silver, executive vice president, general counsel & corporate secretary of CBOE.

In-House Counsel Profile: CBOE Holdings Inc.'s Joanne Moffic-Silver

By Lisa Holton |

"I met with the GC at the CBOE, who wasn't looking for someone. Later that day, he called me and said, 'We can find a place for you.' "


Laterals and new arrivals in this week's column.

Lawyers Too Eager To Object Risk Sanctions

By Robert L. Byman |

If topics designated for a corporate client's deposition overreach, it's wiser to seek a protective order.

Census Chairman Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas

INADMISSIBLE: Ex-Aide Sues Texas Congressman's Office

A former staffer in the office of U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, sued her old workplace alleging she was illegally fired in a sexually charged environment after she complained about mistreatment. Plus more in this week's column.

Sony targeted.

IN BRIEF: Sony Hacking Lawsuit

The hacking scandal at Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. has yielded at least three lawsuits, the first on Dec. 15 by plaintiffs lawyers at Keller Rohrback on behalf of current and former Sony employees. Plus more from and other ALM publications.

Elenor Lacey, general counsel of SurveyMonkey.

In-House Profile: SurveyMonkey Inc.'s Eleanor Lacey

By June Bell |

"I think a lot about what are the right metrics for a small legal department. What is the work where we're adding value? How do we stop doing the things that don't add value?"


Lateral moves and new arrivals in this week's column.

INADMISSIBLE: 'Radical Change' at New Pillsbury Office

The downsizing to a new office building follows a number of Washington firms that have reduced their footprints in recent years. Plus more in this week's column.

The stolen Michigan bridge.

VOIR DIRE: Arch Nemesis?

Usually, the story goes, people try to sell you a bridge. In Michigan, it appears somebody just took one. Plus: Christie vetoes a pig bill again in this week's column.

practice 1215

Is Trade Secrets Legislation Necessary?

By Lewis R. Clayton |

Two pending bills are popular among lawmakers due to concern about thefts by foreign countries.

Whistleblower Policies Lacking, Report Says

By Rebekah Mintzer |

Companies are failing to prioritize programs.