Expert Columns

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.


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.

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.


New arrivals and lateral moves 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.

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.

‘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.

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.

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."

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.

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

By Steven J. Harper |

A prediction for 2015: Rhetoric will obfuscate reality.


Lateral moves and new arrivals 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.

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.

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."


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

A British Bill of Rights?

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

Some British liberals have long dreamed of enacting a U.K. Bill of Rights. Now the United Kingdom’s ruling Conservative Party has put forth its own proposal for codifying human rights—but critics call it a smokescreen for decoupling from Europe.


Laterals, new arrivals, and a new practice group in this week's column.

Class Action Certification Got Tougher in 2014

By Scott Elder |

A trend emerges among courts to approve a class for liability only and defer a decision on damages.

Tom Daschle and Dennis Hastert

INADMISSIBLE: Daschle and Hastert Dish on Politics, Regs

Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and former House Speaker Dennis Hastert last week offered a broad assessment of the regulatory landscape — and politics — in Washington as Republicans prepare to take control of the Senate and vie for the White House. Plus more in this week's column.

Hiroshi Shimizu.

IN BRIEF: Takata on the Hill

Hiroshi Shimizu, senior vice president for global quality assurance at Takata Corp., on Dec. 3 defended his company's decision not to initiate a nationwide air bag recall, saying a regional recall is sufficiently addressing a deadly safety defect. Plus more from and other ALM publications.

Collage by artist Anne Taintor.

VOIR DIRE: Tainted Reputation

Anne Taintor has become famous for taking iconic 1950s domestic images and turning them on their heads with tongue-in-cheek captions. But a New Mexico woman claims to be one of those images, and she's not amused. Plus more in this week's column.

Silicon Valley GCs Sell Off $150 Million in Shares

By David Ruiz |

Half of the top lawyers shed at least $1 million.

London skyline

Pro Bono Weak In UK, Europe

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

I went to the European Pro Bono Forum this month expecting to be welcomed with open arms as an emissary of America's expansive pro bono culture. I found London's pro bono leaders suspicious of efforts to boost pro bono, and hostile to the American model. With good reason.

Children's Law in the New Age of Marriage

By Mary Kay Kisthardt and Barbara Handschu |

Much remains legally uncertain for kids who come from households with same-sex parents.


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

Justin Kleinman, managing director and general counsel at The Emmes Asset Management Co.

In-House Counsel Profile: Emmes Asset Management Co.'s Justin Kleinman

By Rich Acello |

Emmes invests in real estate primarily in the office, retail, hospitality and multi­family housing sectors. The company holds about 60 properties in 19 states; its total assets under management are about $2 billion.

Leondra Kruger

INADMISSIBLE: Leondra Kruger Picked For Ca. Supremes

During her seven years as a rising star at the U.S. Department of Justice, Leondra Kruger was often mentioned by admirers as a sure bet to be nominated to the Supreme Court someday. That day came Nov. 24. Plus more in this week's column.

The cast of

VOIR DIRE: Fowl, No Harm

In Sydney, Australia, doing the chicken dance at work is not grounds for dismissal. Plus: Clairol's cleared in this week's column.

President Barack Obama

IN BRIEF: Ozone Regs Announced

The Obama administration has announced long-anticipated regulations to cut ozone emissions from power plants and factories, especially in the Midwest. Plus more from and other ALM publications.

When Writing, Keep it Simple, Counselor

By Douglas S. Lavine |

Fancy words and long sentences don't make lawyers look smarter, just windier.

Eugene Munin, general counsel of City Colleges of Chicago.

In-House Counsel Profile: City Colleges of Chicago's Eugene Munin

By Lisa Holton |

He went into the law because "I loved learning about our system of government and the Constitution."


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

<b>IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE:</b> This Montblanc is worth $1,535.

VOIR DIRE: Do the Write Thing

Voltaire once wrote, "To hold a pen is to be at war." If that's so, Texas attorney Joe Joplin once nearly lost a very expensive battle. Also in this week's column: print can be too fine.

Paul Clement, left, and Laurence Tribe, right.

INADMISSIBLE: Paul Clement and Laurence Tribe Team Up

In a not-so-subtle hint that it's prepared to fight, the American Clinical Laboratory Association last week announced it has hired longtime U.S. Supreme Court advocate Paul Clement and constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe to challenge federal regulators. Plus more in this week's column.

Florida State University students gather at Landis Green for a prayer service on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 after an overnight shooting at the campus library in Tallahassee, Fla.

IN BRIEF: Shooter Was A Lawyer

A man who opened fire at a Florida State University library on Nov. 20 before being killed by police has been identified by a law enforcement official as Myron De'Shawn May, a lawyer who graduated from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2009 after earning an undergraduate degree from FSU. Plus more from and other ALM publications.

$4B Banking Settlement

By Rebekah Mintzer |

Compliance failure seen in currency trading.

Chinese citizens wear black hoods in a performance art campaign to protest the government's mistreatment of fellow lawyer Wang Shengsheng in northern Heilongjiang province. One of the photos uploaded sarcastically reads:

A Second Wave of Rights Activists

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

Two paths to real rule of law in China.

Bert Rein with Abigail Fisher in 2013

INADMISSIBLE: Affirmative Action Redux in High Court

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit last week denied full-court review in the dispute over the University of Texas affirmative action program, clearing the way for a return trip to the U.S. Supreme Court.


Laterals and new arrivals in this week's column.

Boston Marathon bombing.

IN BRIEF: Marathon Bomb Witnesses

Accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's ­lawyers are having trouble lining up defense witnesses. Plus more from and other ALM publications.

Sting; Kangol Kid

VOIR DIRE: Sting of a Bad Rap

The Roxanne Wars of the mid-'80s get reignited in a Long Island library, and mourning legal tech too soon gone in this week's column.

Lauren Tashma, SVP, general counsel and secretary of Graphic Packaging International Inc.

In-House Counsel Profile: Graphic Packaging Holding Co.'s Lauren Tashma

By Richard Acello |

"Our department may be small, but what we lack in size we make up for in stamina and a passion for getting the job done right."

Mistakes Happen — How to Handle the Blunder

By Randy Evans, Shari Klevens |

So, you screwed up. Don't make the problem worse by taking the wrong steps after making the error.

Dating Site Falls Afoul Of Federal Regulators

By Rebekah Mintzer |

Restore Online Shoppers' Confidence Act's first test.

Sharon Barner, vice president & general counsel of Cummins Inc.

In-House Counsel Profile: Cummins Inc.'s Sharon Barner

By Lisa Holton |

"I work with great lawyers who are all rowing in the same direction."

(l-r) John Ducey as Tom and Kate Walsh as Rebecca in

VOIR DIRE: Gaveled and Axed

"Bad Judge," an NBC comedy in which Kate Walsh played a criminal court judge with a passion for hard living, has been canceled after five weeks. Plus a Teletubbie gets arrested in this week's column.


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

Practice threefer

It Matters Who's in Charge at the DOJ

By Dan Webb and Rob Adkins |

Late-Obama administration turnover highlights the role individual leaders play in enforcement policy.

Karl Racine

INADMISSIBLE: Karl Racine Elected Top D.C. Lawyer

Venable partner Karl Racine will be the District of Columbia's first elected attorney general, taking over an office that will be dramatically reshaped by the time he takes office. Plus more in this week's column.

Azamat Tazhayakov (left), Dias Kadyrbayev, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (right) in a photo taken in Times Square in a framegrab from VKontakt, the Russian equivalent of Facebook.

IN BRIEF: Boston Sentencing Delay

A federal judge has delayed sentencing for two friends of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev until the U.S. Supreme Court decides a pending case testing a statute that criminalizes record destruction and falsification. Plus more from and other ALM publications.

Wall Street’s Formula for Cybersecurity Regulation

By Rebekah Mintzer |

Industry urges government to speak with one voice.

Angela Preston, vice president of compliance and general counsel at EmployeeScreenIQ.

In-House Counsel Profile: EmployeeScreenIQ Corp.'s Angela Preston

By Richard Acello |

"One of the fun aspects of the job is that it's a new position in the company, so I've been able to define the role and the company's legal needs."


New arrivals and laterals in this week's column.

VOIR DIRE: Drink Up, Hanover

A town in Canada is no longer dry, and two Texas prosecutors discuss their novels in this week's column.


Prep Work Is Key for Companies Courting Buyers

By David Goldenberg and Conrad Everhard |

Counsel for sellers need to complete a checklist of tasks before a suitor comes calling.

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2011.

IN BRIEF: Trump Class Certified

A California federal judge has certified a nationwide class of students who allege Donald Trump defrauded them by marketing Trump University as an actual institution of learning in which Trump was integrally involved. Plus more from and other ALM publications.

pink house poster

INADMISSIBLE: From Supreme Court to the Movie Screen

The U.S. Supreme Court soon may be the subject of a casting call for the movie version of one of its more controversial rulings. Plus more in this week's column.

Social Media (Not) for Zombies

By Adrian Dayton |

How would the completely mindless—you know, actual zombies—use social media?

Daniel Trujillo Sr. VP and Chief Compliance Officer, Walmart International

Compliance Chief Tries To Fix Wal-Mart's Image

By Sue Reisinger |

Daniel Trujillo, the retailer's international chief compliance officer, is building a new companywide compliance regime.

Please, Amal, Keep Your Day Job

By Vivia Chen |

Show the world that you can sweep the sexiest man alive off his feet, stay true to yourself and keep your day job. Is that too much to ask?

Tougher Measures for a Continued Lack of Civility

By Aaron Bayer |

Rules designed to stop rude behavior that persists in the profession are passing constitutional muster.

Noel Elfant, Vice President and General Counsel at DeLaval, Inc.

In-House Counsel Profile: DeLaval Inc.'s Noel Elfant

By Richard Acello |

Noel Elfant is chief legal officer for North America, working with counterparts in five countries.


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

Actor Frank Sivero as Frankie Carbone in the film Goodfellas, left, and The Simpsons character Louie, right.

VOIR DIRE: D'ohfellas

$250 million. That's what "Goodfellas" actor Frank Sivero is demanding for the use of his likeness in "The Simpsons." Plus: the biggest pumpkin in New Jersey, and no slice of the pie in this week's column.

Duke Ellington in 1971, from the movie The Adventure of Jazz.

IN BRIEF: Ellington's Copyright

A copyright renewal that Duke Ellington signed in 1961 does not unfairly deprive his heirs of a portion of foreign royalties on works such as "Mood Indigo" and "Sophisticated Lady," the New York Court of Appeals said on Oct. 23. Plus more from and other ALM publications.

INADMISSIBLE: Ginsburg Error is Latest by Justices

U.S. Supreme Court justices, being human, make mistakes. But the court's handling of a recent error made by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was unprecedented. Plus more in this week's column.

Firms Push Luck With Advance Conflict Waivers

By Gina Passarella |

General counsel don’t want to feel taken for granted.

How Are Women Supposed to Act?

By Vivia Chen |

During a tech conference, when asked how women should broach the subject of a promotion or a raise, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella essentially told women to keep their mouths shut.

Anne Ortel, general counsel of Ustream.

In-House Counsel Profile: Ustream Inc.'s Anne Ortel

By June D. Bell |

"It's always a challenge when you're helping a company shift its business model."

Paula Jones and her husband Steve Jones leave the Little Rock, Ark., federal courthouse Friday, Aug. 22, 1997.

INADMISSIBLE: Roberts Once Considered Repping Clinton

Documents released by the Clinton Presidential Library led to a startling revelation: Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., then in private practice, actually considered representing President Bill Clinton before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1997 in the legal battle over Paula Jones' allegations of sexual harassment. Plus more in this week's column.


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

To Catch an E-Thief — Under Federal Property Law

By Nick Akerman |

As businesses move away from paper documents, courts are poised to broaden 'conversion' definition.

David McCallum, left, who spent 29 years in prison, answers questions from the media after his conviction was vacated in Brooklyn Supreme Court Wednesday. With him are his mother Ernestine and his attorney Oscar Michelen.

IN BRIEF: Exoneration After 30 Years

Nearly 30 years after David McCallum was convicted of ­murder at age 17 on the strength of a confession he said was beaten out of him, he walked out of a courthouse on Oct. 15 a free man. Plus more from and other ALM publications.

Don Henley

VOIR DIRE: Eagle-Eyed

Don Henley doesn't like that pun, and telling little lies about Lil Wayne in this week's column.

LGBT Employment Guide

By Sue Reisinger |

With changes to same-sex marriage laws cascading through the states after the U.S. Supreme Court (in)action of Oct. 6, an in-house lawyer has written a book to help employers deal with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.