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Expert Columns


Drop the Bullhorn — Persuasion Takes A Light Touch

By Douglas S. Lavine |

Treating fact-finders with dignity and understanding is critical to making a convincing argument.

Happiness Equity For Female Laterals

By Vivia Chen |
Main entrance of New York Law School at 185 West Broadway. New York Law School. October 16, 2013. Credit: Leonora1805. (OK TO USE PER WIKIMEDIA COMMONS).

Law School Focuses on Corporate Counsel

By Rebekah Mintzer |

New York Law School has launched an academic institute devoted to the issues facing corporate counsel. The Institute for In-House Counsel, an initiative that is the first of its kind in New York City, kicked off on April 8 with a half-day conference held on campus.

Gossip Ban Allowed

By Sherry Karabin |

It's best to avoid broad-based prohibitions on workplace communications, Jon Hyman, a partner in the labor and employment group at Kohrman Jackson & Krantz, advises.

Oliver Herzfeld, Senior Vice President & Chief Legal Officer, the Beanstalk Group.

In-House Counsel Profile: Oliver Herzfeld of The Beanstalk Group LLC

By Richard Acello |

Herzfeld arrives at the office around 9 a.m. and leaves by 5:30 p.m. unless business keeps him later. "Every day is interesting and different," he said.

U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Roger L. Gregory.

INADMISSIBLE: Appellate Judges Feud Over Sentencing

Federal appellate judges often refer to their colleagues as "friends" — especially when there's disagreement on a panel. Three judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit used that word last week in — you got it — a sharply divided 2-1 ruling. Plus more in this week's column.

U.S District Court Judge Thomas Thrash

VOIR DIRE: The Quality of Mercy

U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash Jr. would like to set the record straight on one of Shakespeare's most well-known — and misinterpreted — quotations about the legal profession: "First, let's kill all the lawyers." Plus: the elephant in the room in this week's column.


Scott Morehouse joins Sheppard Mullin's real estate, land use and environmental practice as partner in the Costa Mesa, Calif., office. Plus more law firm movers in this week's column.

W. Mark Lanier of The Lanier Law Firm.

IN BRIEF: Huge Actos Award

A jury in Louisiana awarded more than $9 billion in the first federal bellwether trial over claims that taking diabetes drug Actos increases the risk of bladder cancer. Plus more from and other ALM publications.

Changes to Splitsville's Laws are Underway

By Mary Kay Kisthardt and Barbara Handschu |

State legislatures are modifying spousal maintenance — and not necessarily for the better.

How Do Lawyers Measure Success?

By Adrian Dayton |

Don't be afraid to set big goals, but be ready to pay the price to see them through.

General Counsel Struggle to Define 'Due Diligence'

By Sue Reisinger |

The U.S. Department of Justice has recommended that companies do "reasonable due diligence" of third parties to avoid any risk of corruption — but the U.S. Department of Justice hasn't explained what constitutes reasonable due diligence actually.

At Last, 'Yes' to Sysco

By Rebekah Mintzer |

Who says there are no second chances? When Sysco Corp. offered Adam Skorecki a job as senior vice president and general counsel, it wasn't the first time the company had courted the veteran attorney.

Ingredion Inc.'s Christine Castellano

In-House Counsel Profile: Ingredion Inc.'s Christine Castellano

By Lisa Holton |

Christine Castellano supervises 19 attorneys in the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Singapore and the United Kingdom. Roughly half of the work involves transactions, 30 percent employment law and 20 percent litigation.

U.S. Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer

INADMISSIBLE: Clarity Elusive in Software Patents Case

Clarity and consensus seemed beyond the U.S. Supreme Court's reach on March 31 as justices struggled to decide whether software and computer-dependent inventions are eligible for patents. Plus more in this week's column.

Brian from

VOIR DIRE: Flairless

An actor from the film "Office Space" loses a court battle over the use of his image on film-related merchandise, and an author has her jury reward reversed in this week's column.


Erin Murphy joins Arnstein & Lehr's litigation practice group as special counsel to the Chicago office. Plus more law firm movers in this week's column.

John Marshall Law School dean Richardson Lynn

Former Professors' Lawsuit Headed for Trial

By Karen Sloan |

A racial discrimination and retaliation case brought against Atlanta's John Marshall Law School by two former professors has survived a motion for summary judgment.

650 Fifth Avenue

IN BRIEF: Iranian Front

A federal judge in New York has approved more than $500 million in claims against a forfeited office building whose partial owners are accused of violating the Iranian trade embargo. Plus more from and other ALM publications.

Whistleblower Rules Extend to Private Companies

By Dan Webb and Robb C. Adkins |

U.S. Supreme Court decision broadens reach of Sarbanes-Oxley beyond publicly held corporations.

People Like Female Bosses — In Theory

By Vivia Chen |

So, how do you really feel about having a female boss? According to a survey of 2,000 Americans by Pershing LLC, a Bank of New York Mellon company, the answer is complicated. Actually, let's call it what it is: screwy.

Gregory S. Davis, Sr. VP, General Counsel & Secretary of DeVry Education Group

In-House Counsel Profile: DeVry Education Group Inc.'s Gregory Davis

By Lisa Holton |

Gregory Davis heads an 11-­lawyer team that also includes a director of contract management.

Kirkland & Ellis' W. Neil Eggleston

INADMISSIBLE: Kirkland Partner Eyes White House Post

W. Neil Eggleston, a white-collar defender in Kirkland & Ellis' Washington office, is the leading contender to replace White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler when she steps down, according to five Washington attorneys following the selection process who spoke on background about an administration personnel decision. Plus more in this week's column.

Dell Finds Help in Sorting Compliance Risk

By Sue Reisinger |

Like most large multinational companies, Dell Inc. engages with many third parties across its business and around the world. And that means Dell's chief compliance counsel, Joseph Burke, has his hands full on most days making sure those third parties are trustworthy.

North America Lags In Antibribery Policies

By Sue Reisinger |

North America has the lowest percentage of companies with antibribery policies of any region in the world, according to the latest statistics from The Conference Board Inc.


The Home Shopping Network and companies associated with cooking stars Emeril Lagasse and Martha Stewart face a class action accusing them of marketing and ­selling counterfeit knives. Plus: A new book about Clarence Darrow in this week's column.


Randy Aoyama joins Hinshaw & Culbertson as partner in the Phoenix office. Plus more law firm movers in this week's column.

A Big Ten conference football game between the Northwestern Wildcats and the University of Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill.

IN BRIEF: College Football Union

A National Labor Relations Board official on March 26 gave football players at Northwestern University a green light to unionize. Plus more from and other ALM publications.

U.S. Supreme Court building

'Straight to the Supreme Court' Not Always Wise

By E. Joshua Rosenkranz and Brian D. Ginsberg |

Interim appeals steps can be the best strategy in federal cases that fail to present a circuit split.

Yes, Your Google Presence Matters

By Adrian Dayton |

You just need to decide if you want to make it a strength or a liability.

Honeywell International's Chief Legal Counsel Katherine Adams.

Women Find Welcome From Fortune 500

By Sue Reisinger |

As more women entered law schools once barred to them — the last gender barrier dropped in 1970 — the general counsel numbers kept rising. By 2014, MCCA listed 106 women general counsel of top corporations.

Michael Dillon, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Adobe

In-House Counsel Profile: Adobe Systems Inc.'s Mike Dillon

By June D. Bell |

Mike Dillon joined Adobe in 2012, attracted by what he describes as its culture of creativity and openness. "I feel like one of the guys who goes to Reno and pulls the lever and hits five cherries," he said.

Robert S. Strauss. (May 2008).

INADMISSIBLE: Robert Strauss Dies at 95

"One of the legendary lawyers that really don't exist anymore." That's how Hogan Lovells partner Robert Bennett described Robert Strauss, who died March 19 at the age of 95. Plus more in this week's column.

VOIR DIRE: Love at First Site

A 65-year-old Queens, N.Y., man — a self-described online dating neophyte — is suing OKCupid after being bilked out of $70,000 by a man he met there. Plus some towering wit in this week's column.


Norberto Quintana joins Holland & Knight's financial-services practice as partner in the New York office. Plus more law firm movers in this week's column.

A courtroom drawing of Osama bin Laden's son-in-law Suleiman Abu Ghaith as he takes the stand in his own defense against terrorism charges.

IN BRIEF: Denies Advance Knowledge

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith testified on his own behalf last week in federal court in New York against charges he served as a propagandist for al-Qaeda and recruited fighters for Osama bin Laden ­immediately ­following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Plus more from and other ALM publications.