Expert Columns

Edith Ramirez, Chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission.

INADMISSIBLE: FTC Sees Antitrust Legislation As A Threat

Federal Trade Commission chairwoman Edith Ramirez last week pushed back against a Senate bill that would harmonize the U.S. Justice Department's and FTC's overlapping antitrust authority. Plus more in this week's column.

Larry Thompson.

In-House Counsel Profile: The Depository Trust & Clearing Corp.'s Larry Thompson

By Richard Acello |

"You learn many skill sets, and it's constantly challenging."


Laterals and new arrivals in this week's column.

How to Preserve Unmarried Fathers' Rights

By Mary Kay Kisthardt and Barbara Handschu |

Timing is critical to making sure he has a say when his child is up for adoption.

VOIR DIRE: Laws of Attraction

An engineering magnet proved to be the undoing of a would-be thief in Cambridge, England. Plus more in this week's column.

Sally Yates

What Will Really Change After the Yates Memo?

By Dan Webb and Robb Adkins |

It's not uncommon for incoming deputy AG s to announce policy reforms out of the gate.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman's Washington, D.C. offices at 1200 17th St. NW.

INADMISSIBLE: Pillsbury Elects Firm's Next Chairman

David Dekker will serve as the next chairman of Pills­bury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, the firm said last week. Plus more in this week's column.

Movers: A Weekly Roundup of Laterals and Promotions

By Tasha Norman |

Laterals and new arrivals in this week's column.

Florida International University general counsel Kristina Raattama

In-House Counsel Profile: Florida International University's Kristina Raattama

By Richard Acello |

"Be a life-long learner. Take every opportunity that you get to understand the operations of the place and the industry you're in."

Woody Allen in the film

VOIR DIRE: He Can't Be Siri-ous

Danger, Will Robinson! An information-technology help desk worker for the New York City Health Department refuses to stop answering customer service calls in a robot voice. Plus more in this week's column.

Paul Mamalian, General Counsel for HMSHost Corp. HANDOUT.

In-House Counsel Profile: HMSHost Corp.'s Paul Mamalian

By Ginny LaRoe |

"Having lived through a war gave me a pretty good perspective on what is truly a bad day versus what is a normal bad day here. I tend to handle stress pretty well."

Movers: A Weekly Roundup of Laterals and Promotions

Laterals and new arrivals in this week's column.



"Holy copyright law, Batman!" The Ninth Circuit found that the Batmobile was protected under the copyright for the original Batman comic strip held by DC Comics. Plus more in this week's column.

Time Is Precious with Computer-Hacking Claims

By Nick Akerman |

A recent ruling shows that plaintiffs must act fast when using a federal criminal statute for a civil suit.

Perry Pappous, ‎executive VP & general counsel of Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc.

In-House Counsel Profile: Mitsubishi Electric U.S. Inc.'s Perry Pappous

By Richard Acello |

Pappous arrives at the office most days about 8 in the morning and leaves around 6:30 in the evening. "I always take my PC with me," he said, "for 10-12 hours a day wherever I am."

Movers: A Roundup of Laterals and Promotions

Lateral moves in this week's column.

Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel, left, and Janai Nelson, Assistant Director-Counsel, right, at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund 75th Anniversary event in NYC.

INADMISSIBLE: Marshall's Legacy: THE LDF Ties That Bind

While GOP presidential hopefuls invoked the legacy of Ronald Reagan on a California debate stage on Sept. 16, a group of high-powered lawyers and judges met in New York to honor another storied American: Thurgood Marshall. Plus more in this week's column.

Hillary Clinton

Clinton's Email: Unwise, But Likely Not Criminal

By Laurie L. Levenson |

An analysis of classified information laws shows it takes intentional disclosure to get an indictment.

VOIR DIRE: Wrong Number!

With an unintentional call to the cops, a New Jersey robber was betrayed by his own technology. Plus more in this week's column.

<b>JUDGE RICHARD POSNER:</b> Online information about acid reflux informed his ruling in a civil rights case.

When Judges Rely on Their Own Online Research

By Aaron S. Bayer |

A recent Seventh Circuit ruling tests the use of information gathered from the Internet.

Chris Knopik, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel for the Laser Spine Institute.

In-House Counsel Profile: Laser Spine Institute LLC's Chris Knopik

By Richard Acello |

"I am a working kind of guy."

Movers: A National Roundup of Laterals and New Arrivals

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

Richard Alexander.

INADMISSIBLE: Arnold & Porter MP To Become Firm's Next Chairman

Arnold & Porter will have a new chairman on Jan. 1. Richard Alexander, the managing partner and a financial services lawyer in Washington, will take over for Thomas Milch, the firm announced last week. Plus more in this week's column.

Bert Rein

INADMISSIBLE: Wiley Rein Denied $2M in Fees in VRA Case

Wiley Rein lawyers who successfully challenged a section of the Voting Rights Act in the U.S. Supreme Court are not entitled to collect $2 million in legal fees from the government, a federal appeals court in Washington ruled on Sept. 1. Plus more in this week's column.

U.S. Supreme Court justice Elena Kagan.

Will Class Actions Get the Hammer Next Term?

By Arthur H. Bryant |

The high court will take up cases further defining the rights of consumers suing corporations.


Laterals and new arrivals in this week's column.

Keven Lippert, general counsel of ViaSat Inc.

In-House Counsel Profile: ViaSat Inc.'s Keven Lippert

By Richard Acello |

"The key thing is to understand the business and the industry you're in — that's how you show your value."

Businessman texting

VOIR DIRE: Texters of the Bar

Attorneys in Florida can now text prospective clients, and IP may not let you finish at the Video Music Awards in this week's column.

Washington Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss

IN BRIEF: Trial Opens in Bank Suit

A number of current and former NFL players, including free agent Santana Moss, attended the first week of a federal negligence trial against BB&T Bank in Miami. Plus more from and other ALM publications.

Want to Be a Thought Leader? Follow These Steps

By Meg Charendoff |

Developing a relationship as a reliable source with the media makes marketing sense.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis performs her job at the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead, Ky., Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015.

INADMISSIBLE: Couples Prevail In Marriage-License Case

A federal appeals court last week said a Kentucky county clerk who has resisted the U.S. Supreme Court's gay-marriage ruling on religious grounds cannot continue to withhold marriage licenses altogether from same-sex and opposite-sex couples. Plus more in this week's column.

Movers: A National Roundup of Laterals and New Arrivals

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

Ken Carson, chief people officer and general counsel of Cengage Learning.

In-House Counsel Profile: Cengage Learning's Ken Carson

By Richard Acello |

Cengage Learning is an educational publisher transitioning from a traditional publisher of textbooks to digital content. General Counsel Ken Carson said that this year will be the first time digital revenue will surpass print revenue.

VOIR DIRE: Something Fishy

Have you ever felt that your can of StarKist chunk light tuna was lighter than it should be? There might be some money in it for you. Plus more in this week's column.

Ilya Braz, general counsel of GFI Capital.

In-House Counsel Profile: GFI Capital Resources Group Inc.'s Ilya Braz

By Richard Acello |

"I like deal closings."

Shirley Werner Kornreich

Courts Are Rejecting Disclosure-Only Settlements

By William D. Savitt |

Rulings show disfavor for lawsuits filed after a company's announcement of a proposed merger.

VOIR DIRE: Sue, Chef!

The next time you're traveling in Germany, you might want to think twice before Instagramming your meal. Plus more in this week's column.


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

Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor

INADMISSIBLE: Interning for Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Nick Aquart is starting work this month in the chambers of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor — but not as a law clerk or full-time staffer. Plus more in this week's column.

Manny Pacquiao

IN BRIEF: CA Court Snags Boxing Suit

Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao and Home Box Office Inc. won the first round in the litigation over his highly publicized match against Floyd Mayweather after a federal panel sent more than 40 consumer class actions to a judge in Los Angeles. Plus more from and other ALM publications.

Patrick Henderson

IN BRIEF: Firm Partner Found Dead

Polsinelli transactional partner Patrick Henderson was found dead late on Aug. 10 not far from his home in Overland Park, Kansas. Plus more from and other ALM publications.

VOIR DIRE: Staten Island Lannister

Winter is coming: An attorney petitions for "trial by combat" in a fraud suit. Plus more in this week's column.

Professor Kermit Roosevelt of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. HANDOUT.

INADMISSIBLE: A Novel of Conflicting Loyalties at Court

Kermit Roosevelt, the great-great-grandson of Theodore Roosevelt, has written a provocative new novel, "Allegiance." It recalls the World War II Supreme Court, when justices and clerks grappled with the cases that resulted in support for the U.S. exclusion policy toward Japanese-Americans. Plus more in this week's column.


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

James J. Merkins, Jr., general counsel of Ray Angelini, Inc.

In-House Counsel Profile: Ray Angelini Inc.'s James Merkins

By Richard Acello |

"I had a lunch meeting with Ray Angelini, pitching him for litigation work, and it turned into a job offer."

Socially Awkward Clients Can Lead to Trouble

By Aaron P. Rubin and Scott M. Sawyer |

Companies need clear policies about employee social -media use and ownership of accounts.

Amy Guzzy, general counsel and director of legal services at Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores, Inc.

In-House Counsel Profile: Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores Inc.'s Amy Guzzy

By June D. Bell |

"We try to keep things in-house as much as possible."

Failure of Google+ Provides Lessons

By Adrian Dayton |

Facebook — and Twitter and LinkedIn, for that matter — are here to stay. They are popular because they are useful and contain massive populations of people you want to connect with. Google+ hasn't passed that test.

Don't Be an Ostrich with Risk Management

By Michael Downey |

Too often, firms choose to ignore potential liability, especially when the money's coming in.

Conan O'Brien  REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (Newscom TagID: rtrlseven095206.jpg) [Photo via Newscom]

VOIR DIRE: Tweet Repeat?

Conan O'Brien is sued for allegedly stealing jokes from someone else's Twitter feed. Plus a famous potential juror in Texas and bacon-stealing cats in this week's column.


Lateral moves in this week's column.

Billy Martin.

INADMISSIBLE: Trial Lawyer Billy Martin's Next Steps

The firms around him have merged, failed and moved, but celebrity trial lawyer William "Billy" Martin hasn't changed his practice. Plus more in this week's column.


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

Brian Eftink, Vice President of Legal at Wacker Chemical Corporation.

In-House Counsel Profile: Wacker Chemical Corp.'s Brian Eftink

By June D. Bell |

"I feel a lot of times like I'm playing the role of arbitrator or judge."

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager

European Commission Takes Aim at E-Commerce

By Janet McDavid and Mateo Domecq |

Executive body launches investigations to break down obstacles to cross-border transactions.

PORTLAND, OR - NOVEMBER 01: Aron Moxley, Simon Young, and William Moore of The Slants perform live at Alhambra Theatre on November 1, 2013 in Portland, Oregon.

INADMISSIBLE: Bar Associations Side Against 'The Slants'

In a case testing the government's authority to reject trademarks it deems disparaging, a pair of Asian-American bar associations have sided against an Asian-American rock band attempting to register its name as The Slants. Plus more in this week's column.

VOIR DIRE: Doobie or Not Doobie?

That is the question in a suit classic rockers The Doobie Brothers have brought against a folk-rock cover duo calling themselves the Doobie Decibel System. Plus more in this week's column.

VOIR DIRE: At Cross Purposes

One side says "public safety," the other side says "defacing public property." Plus more in this week's column.

Monique Pressley, principal of The Pressley Firm in Washington, D.C.

INADMISSIBLE: D.C. Lawyer for Cosby Takes to the Press

A lawyer for entertainer Bill Cosby is fighting back in the forum that may matter to him most: the court of ­public opinion. Plus more in this week's column.

Michael Newman of Tuoro College.

In-House Counsel Profile: Touro College and University System's Michael Newman

By Richard Acello |

"My day doesn't end at 6."

How To Make Computer Fraud Claims Stick

By Nick Akerman |

Employers need clear policies in order to use a federal criminal law as a civil remedy against workers.


Lateral moves in this week's column.

INADMISSIBLE: Column About Atticus Finch, In New Light

Monroe Freedman wrote an article in our very own Legal Times more than 20 years ago that was attacked when published because of his appraisal of Atticus Finch, the heroic fictional lawyer of "To Kill a Mockingbird." A role model for lawyers? Freedman thought not. Plus more in this week's column.

Tips For Taking Care of Mind, Body

By Adrian Dayton |

Sleep, exercise, and office ergonomics are also integral to achieving healthy, balanced lives.

Judges Rejecting Long-Winded Answers

By Robert L. Byman |

Kitchen-sink responses to interrogatories are all too common and do clients no favors.

Holly Greer, chief legal officer of CNL Financial Group, Inc.

In-House Counsel Profile: CNL Financial Group Inc.'s Holly Greer

By Richard Acello |

"In the sixth grade I was the prosecutor in a 'mock trial' and from that point on I was determined to be a attorney."


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

VOIR DIRE: Fakin' Bacon?

In a television ad, a dog smells the aroma emanating from an open bag of Beggin' Strips and runs around the house yelling, "Where's the bacon?" A federal lawsuit asks the same question. Plus more in this week's column.

Uber headquarters in San Francisco

IN BRIEF: Uber Subsidiary Fined $7.3M

A state regulatory judge on July 15 hit Uber Technologies Inc. subsidiary Rasier-CA LLC with a $7.3 million fine for failing to report information, including safety-related incidents, as required under its permit. Plus more from and other ALM publications.


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

Ian Graham, senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of BAE Systems, Inc.

In-House Counsel Profile: BAE Systems Inc.'s Ian Graham

By Richard Acello |

"I love what we do; we protect those who protect us."

VOIR DIRE: Trouble Brewing

In a dispiriting year for beer makers, Anheuser-Busch settles another suit that challenged the authenticity of Beck's. Plus more in this week's column.

<b>FIGHT FOR RIGHTS:</b> Cindy Lee Garcia, right, with her lawyer, M. Cris Armenta, alleged her small acting role led to threats.

Controversial Film Tests Limits of Copyright Law

By Lewis R. Clayton |

En banc ruling in "Innocence of Muslims" case doesn't bode well for individual actors' claims.

INADMISSIBLE: Airlines Sued Over Alleged Price-Fixing

As the U.S. Department of Justice investigates whether airlines conspired to keep ticket prices high, consumers are already going to court. Plus more in this week's column.

IN BRIEF: Cruises to Cuba

Carnival Corp. announced plans on July 7 to offer cruises to Cuba. The trips would focus on volunteer work at the destinations. Plus more from and other ALM publications.

Finding Balance in A Connected World

By Adrian Dayton |

Are lawyers working themselves to death? Is the strain of being constantly connected through tablets, cellphones and social media wreaking havoc on our bodies? Yes.


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

Loretta Lynch

What Can We Expect from Loretta Lynch?

By Dan Webb And Robb Adkins |

The latest AG is taking some cues from her predecessor but also making bold, independent moves.

Andrew Spainhour, general counsel of Replacements Ltd.  Photo by Sara D. Davis/Replacements Ltd. (HANDOUT - OK TO USE).

In-House Counsel Profile: Replacements Ltd.'s Andrew Spainhour

By Richard Acello |

"I'm very happy when I can help people avoid or resolve a problem or achieve something we want in a way that's appropriate."

Bert Rein of Wiley Rein, who represented Abigail Fisher (right) in Fisher v University of Texas, addresses the media after arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court in October 2012.

INADMISSIBLE: New Look at Texas Affirmative Action Case

Revisiting affirmative action, the U.S. Supreme Court on June 29 agreed to take a second look at the constitutionality of the admissions policy of the University of Texas at Austin. Plus more in this week's column.

SunTrust Park rendering.  The baseball field will be the new home of the Atlanta Braves.

IN BRIEF: Braves' Move Sustained

The Atlanta Braves' deal to move to the suburbs is safe. The Georgia Supreme Court on June 29 unanimously upheld the bond issue for up to $397 million to build a new stadium in Cobb County, Georgia. Plus more from and other ALM publications.

Hulk Hogan

VOIR DIRE: Rules of the Rumble

The judge in the Hulk Hogan sex tape case laid down a lot of rules, but missed an important one. Plus more in this week's column.

International Criminal Court, The Hague, Netherlands

Ideology Blocks Arbitration Treaty

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

Private law scholars think it's nuts to insert 50-state complexity into a treaty designed for universal ease.

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta

INADMISSIBLE: D.C. Judge Blocks Sysco-US Foods Merger

A federal district judge in Washington last week blocked the proposed $8.2 billion merger between food distributors Sysco Corp. and US Foods Inc. Plus more in this week's column.

Mules Are Meant for Barns, Not Courtrooms

By Douglas S. Lavine |

A lawyer's stubborn adherence to a no-win point is a sure way to lose favor with a judge.

Peter Wexler, SVP and general counsel of Schneider Electric.

In-House Counsel Profile: Schneider Electric S.A.'s Peter Wexler

By Richard Acello |

"I like the business side of things; I'm not a big fan of the external advisory role."

South Carolina State House

IN BRIEF: Rebel Flag Rebellion

South Carolina-based Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough last week urged removal of the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the state capitol. Plus more from and other ALM publications.

Robin Frazer Clark

VOIR DIRE: Bourbon Bonding

There is no official drink of the State Bar of Georgia, but one fiery concoction has enough precedent to merit ­unofficial status. Plus: reimbursing mock trials and overzealous German parking cops in this week's column.


Laterals, new arrivals and promotions in this week's column.

Laurence Silberman.

INADMISSIBLE: Agency's Briefs Irk D.C. Circuit Judge

Judge Laurence Silberman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit values clarity in legal briefs. Last week, the famously acronym-averse judge again showed his willingness to shame lawyers who disappoint him.


Laterals and new arrivals in this week's column.

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft

IN BRIEF: Detainees' Claims Revived

A divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on June 17 revived claims that former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft approved harsh confinement conditions for immigrants detained following the Sept. 11 attacks because they appeared to be Arab or Muslim. Plus more from and other ALM publications.

Multifaceted Roles for Experts in Custody Cases

By Mary Kay Kisthardt and Barbara Handschu |

Family lawyers relying on mental health professionals for consulting services, support and testimony.

Jay Zynczak, general cCounsel of Goal Zero.

In-House Counsel Profile: Goal Zero LLC's Jay Zynczak

By June D. Bell |

"When you're at a small company with 50 or 100 employees that is growing, and you have the opportunity to move the needle, it's exciting."

Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

VOIR DIRE: Rock-Star Ruth

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg reveled in her rock star status as she discussed her career and a coming movie about her life during the American Constitution Society's annual meeting in Washington. Plus more in this week's column.

VOIR DIRE: A Brush With Crime

Everyone's a critic, including the art thieves. Plus a repurposed golf cart and the most powerful stare in the world in this week's column.

Lance Armstrong finishing 3rd in Sète, taking over the Yellow Jersey at the 2002 Grand Prix Midi Libre. May 25, 2002.

INADMISSIBLE: Law Firm Subpoenaed in Armstrong Case

Williams & Connolly is refusing to turn over documents about the firm's relationship with Lance Armstrong as the disgraced cyclist fights allegations that he defrauded the U.S. government by lying about his use of performance-enhancing drugs. Plus more in this week's column.


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

<b>ANTONIN SCALIA:</b> The U.S. Supreme Court justice delivered the opinion of the court involving discriminatory practices in the workplace.

Abercrombie Decision Not Such an 'Easy Case'

By Catherine L. Fisk |

The court said the ruling was not a tough call, but many uncertainties about accommodation remain.