Expert Columns

A Customer Service Crash Course For Lawyers

By Michael Downey |

A friendly reminder: clients frequent firms that treat them well and avoid others for repeat business.

Rich Jensen, general counsel of Reverse Mortgage Investment Trust.

In-House Counsel Profile: Richard Jensen

By Richard Acello |

"I like being part of a startup environment and being part of a team."

Billy Joel performs in concert at Madison Square Garden on May 27, 2016, in New York City.

VOIR DIRE: Oh, Name Us a Street for Piano Man

By Richard Binder |

Dean Hart is challenging Michael Montesano for his New York legislative seat, and he believes he's hit a winning issue: Long Island's own Piano Man. Plus: A proposed class action says something's rotten in the advertising of Odor-Eaters.


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

IN BRIEF: FCC Fines Comcast $2.3M

Comcast Corp. has been hit with a $2.3 million civil penalty by the Federal Communications Commission, closing an investigation into whether the company wrongfully charged customers for services and equipment they didn't want. Plus more in this week's column.

Lee Cheng, Newegg CLO

IN BRIEF: Cheng Leaves Newegg Inc.

After 11 years with Newegg Inc., Lee Cheng, the longtime top ­lawyer at Newegg and an outspoken critic of the patent system, left the company to serve as chief operating officer at Nashville-based guitar manufacturer Gibson Brands Inc. Plus more in this week's column.

Brexit Will Impact Planned Unified Patent Court

By Matthias Kamber |

But it's too early to predict when, and in what form, the UPC and the Unitary Patent might take shape.

Christopher Gaenzle, general counsel of INC Research

In-House Counsel Profile: Chris Gaenzle

By Richard Acello |

Chris Gaenzle is the general counsel at INC Research Holdings Inc., a contract research organization that provides clinical development services to the pharmaceutical industry.

VOIR DIRE: Crows and Claims

By Richard Binder |

Neighbors decide their suit's for the birds; a Massachusetts man wants us all to have a piece of the pie; and no, you can't sue for being stuck in traffic in this week's column.

VOIR DIRE: Curtain Call

By Richard Binder |

Legal action may be brewing over an addition to the Tate Modern that turns museum goers into potential peeping Toms. Plus: an unusual missing person case in this week's column.

Why European Investigations Are Spurring Debate

By Janet McDavid and Falk Schöning |

Critics say that the European Commission has used its state-aid laws to start a "tax war" with the U.S.


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


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

Donald Trump, left, and his ex-wife, Ivana Trump

IN BRIEF: Trump Records Stay Sealed

A New York state judge has denied a request by news organizations to unseal records related to Donald Trump's 1990 divorce from Ivana Trump. Plus more in this week's column.

Tracy Caswell. Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of Comverge.

In-House Counsel Profile: Tracy Caswell

By Richard Acello |

"I work around the clock. I don't ever turn the phone off, so I'm available unless I'm asleep."

VOIR DIRE: Apocalypse Prep

By Richard Binder |

Mumbai's zombie invasion readiness is questioned; a most unusual phobia; and excessive spending at the Paris Opera Ballet in this week's column.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

IN BRIEF: Samsung Sued Over S7 Edge

A new lawsuit against Samsung Electronics Co. alleges that the device maker had problems with exploding smartphone batteries even before the recent recall of its Galaxy Note 7, leaving at least one man with third-degree burns. Plus more in this week's column.

Sometimes, a Litigation Hold Is Not Enough

By Robert L. Byman |

Companies that place holds should also have their employees read a District of Delaware opinion.


VOIR DIRE: Revenue Stream

By Richard Binder |

IRS puts the heat on Nelly; how original-ish is "Black-ish"; and heavy metal rules in this week's column.

Lynn Feldman, executive vice president and general counsel of Clear Channel Outdoor Americas.

In-House Counsel Profile: Lynn Feldman

By Richard Acello |

"You hire the lawyer and not the firm. It's about building a relationship, and firms being straightforward about what they're good at, and what they're not good at. We have to work well together, taking into account what I can spend and what I need."

Are Patent Rights Poised for a Resurgence?

By Alexander Okuliar and James Tierney |

Key court rulings and enforcement activity in recent years have made it riskier and costlier for patent owners to bring — and settle — patent infringement cases.

The Future of Enhanced Damages After 'Halo'?

By Lewis R. Clayton |

SCOTUS: the Patent Act gives trial judges discretion to assess these awards in "egregious cases."

Susan Hawk

IN BRIEF: Dallas County DA Resigns

After surviving an attempt to legally remove her from office for alleged incompetence and going public about her struggles with mental illness, Dallas County, Texas, District Attorney Susan Hawk announced her resignation. Plus more in this week's column.

VOIR DIRE: A Ballet Brawl

By Richard Binder |

Police get involved in an email war of words between a dance school principal and a parent. Plus: possibly all-too-convincing testimony, and things are really bad at home in this week's column.

Pat McGlone.

In-House Counsel Profile: Patrick McGlone

By Richard Acello |

Patrick McGlone is the general counsel at Ullico Inc., which says it's the only labor-owned insurance and investment company.


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


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

The DOJ Increases Scrutiny of Foreign Tax Havens

By John O'Donnell, Pamela Kiesselbach and Geng Li |

More than 100 account holders who evaded taxes and reporting requirements have been prosecuted.

(l-r) Robin Thicke; Earth, Wind & Fire

VOIR DIRE: Battle 'Lines'

Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams appeal the "Blurred Lines" verdict, with a little help from their friends. Plus: Blind Melon's "Insane" suit, delicate sensibilities in Australia, and a tip of the hat to Gene Wilder in this week's column.

Larry Knopf.

In-House Counsel Profile: Larry Knopf

By Richard Acello |

Larry Knopf is the general counsel at HeartWare International Inc., a provider of implantable devices that enable the heart to pump blood throughout the body.

IN BRIEF: Suit Filed Over App Tracking

That Golden State Warriors app on your phone might be eavesdropping on you. Plus more in this week's column.

Michael Greenberg, CEO and General Counsel of Level Group Inc.

In-House Counsel Profile: Michael Greenberg

"As I became a better broker, I also became a much more effective general counsel in support of my clients."

Melania Trump

IN BRIEF: Trump Hires Gawker Lawyer

Charles Harder, a partner at Beverly Hills entertainment law boutique Harder Mirell & Abrams who represented Hulk Hogan in his defamation case against Gawker, has been particularly busy of late.


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

In Election 2016, Lawyers Can Frame the Debate

By Douglas S. Lavine |

Advocates can help steer discussions away from demagogy and toward reasoned policy talks.

Barbara Stob.

In-House Counsel Profile: Barbara Stob

By Suzanne Monyak |

Barbara Stob is the general counsel at Goucher College, a small ­private liberal arts college located in a suburb of Baltimore.

Evidence is Key to Navigating Child Support

By Mary Kay Kisthardt AND Barbara Handschu |

Emancipation can hinge on events like finishing school or attaining a certain age, but bring your proof.

VOIR DIRE: Pokémon in Court

A St. Clair Shores, Michigan, couple has sued the creators of Pokémon Go, claiming that the augmented-reality game has turned their neighborhood into "a nightmare." Plus more in this week's column.

Former Perella Weinberg investment banker Sean Stewart

IN BRIEF: N.Y. Banker Found Guilty

Former New York banker Sean Stewart was found guilty of insider trading Aug. 17 for sharing confidential merger information with his father, resulting in illegal trades netting more than $1 million. Plus more in this week's column.

Chad Jerdee.

In-House Counsel Profile: Chad Jerdee

By Richard Acello |

"On any given day, I get to work with people from a wide variety of cultures solving business challenges for our clients across the full range of industries. I learn something new every day on the job."


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

IN BRIEF: Schools Face ERISA Suits

A St. Louis plaintiffs firm filed complaints Aug. 10 and 11 against schools including Duke University and the University of Pennsylvania on claims that the schools allegedly sponsored retirement plans that caused participants to pay excessive fees, according to news reports. Plus more in this week's column.

VOIR DIRE: Gamer Party Foul?

The publisher of the "League of Legends" video game has filed a copyright suit against the operators of a service that allows users to gain unfair advantages while ­playing the game. Plus more in this week's column.

Social Media Can be a Minefield — or a Gold Mine

By Dan Farino and Douglas G. Leney |

The value of this evidence dissipates if it's not properly authenticated. Aim to do so during discovery.


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

Michael Poterala.

In-House Counsel Profile: Mike Poterala

By Suzanne Monyak |

"No two days are the same, that's for sure."

Review of Anti-Discrimination Policies is Key

By R. Anthony Prather |

Companies take note: the EEOC has ramped up prosecution of transgender discrimination claims.

VOIR DIRE: Pampered Pooch

New York dachshund Winnie Pooh is caught up in a legal spat between her caretaker and the executor of the $100,000 trust left for the dog by her late owner. Plus more in this week's column.

IN BRIEF: Comcast Sued For $100M

The Washington Attorney General's Office has sued cable and internet titan Comcast Corp. in King County Superior Court, alleging 1.8 million violations of the state's Consumer Protection Act for misrepresentations, overcharges and improper practices. Plus more in this week's column.

The O'Quinn Law Library entrance at the University of Houston Law Center.

IN BRIEF: Response in Trademark Spat

Newly named Houston College of Law has fired back against the University of Houston Law Center in a trademark infringement spat pitting the neighboring schools against each other. Plus more in this week's column.


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

VOIR DIRE: Found Property

A Pennsylvania police department posted on Facebook to find the owner of a misdelivered package — which contained nearly 5 pounds of marijuana. Plus more in this week's column.

Avoid the Temptation to Practice 'Threshold Law'

By Michael Downey |

Jack-of-all-trades practices increase the risk of big mistakes. Instead, focus in and develop new clients.

Craig Levine.

In-House Counsel Profile: Craig Levine

By Richard Acello |

"What I like most about my job is the diversity of the work and the ability to work with employees at all levels of the company. There is never a dull moment as general counsel."

No New Law in 'Spokeo'—And That’s Big News

By Arthur H. Bryant |

The company sought a ruling gutting statutory damage claims and class actions. It didn’t get one.

Ryan Sakamoto.

In-House Counsel Profile: Ryan Sakamoto

By Suzanne Monyak |

“A good portion of the day is inevitably putting out fires.”


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


VOIR DIRE: Snaps for Privacy?

A lawsuit filed by two Illinois men alleging that Snapchat is illegally storing biometric data, such as facial geometry, will be tried in federal court. Plus more in this week's column.


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

Suzanne Niemeyer.

In-House Counsel Profile: Suzanne Niemeyer

By Richard Acello |

"Don't be afraid take risks and to challenge yourself."

Tom Brady

IN BRIEF: Reversal Hopes Deflated

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's bid to win reversal of his four-game suspension over a conspiracy to deflate footballs — dubbed 'Deflategate' — was rejected July 13 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Plus more in this week's column.

A Crisis Signals Risk, But Also Opportunity

By George TerWilliger |

Kick-start effective response planning by creating a chain of command and strategic objectives.

VOIR DIRE: Apple Bites Back

Apple sasses Spotify; Serena's passing storm; and Future looks bleak in this week's column.


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

Delaware Supreme Court Building

Engaging Deal Challenges on the Merits

By William Savitt |

A line of Delaware court rulings conclude that informed stockholder OKs should be accorded respect.

Facebook's campus at 1601 Willow Road in Menlo Park, CA

IN BRIEF: Facebook Documents Sought

Lawyers with the U.S. Depart­ment of Justice's Tax Division filed a petition in the Northern District of California on July 6 asking for a court order forcing Facebook Inc. to provide information to the IRS related to its transfer of many of its global assets to its Irish ­holding company, Facebook Ireland Holdings. Plus more in this week's column.

Burton Brillhart.

In-House Counsel Profile: Burton Brillhart

By Suzanne Monyak |

"It's important to be able to think quickly and problem-solve to help the company achieve its goal."


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

Elisa Smith.

In-House Counsel Profile: Elisa Smith

By Richard Acello |

"Watch for forks in the road that can lead you to a GC job, have your eyes open, and don't be afraid to take risks, or pay cuts."

Kanye West

VOIR DIRE: Yeezy in Court?

Kanye begs to be sued, Mr. Pigglesworth abides, and wake up the judge in this week's column.

'RJR Nabisco' and the Future of Extraterritoriality

By Timothy G. Nelson, Lea Haber Kuck and Ashley Fernandez |

The Supreme Court's ruling further limits the ability to seek redress for wrongs occurring abroad.

Lisa Brown.

In-House Counsel Profile: Lisa Brown

By Suzanne Monyak |

"There's no average day."

Leonardo DiCaprio in

VOIR DIRE: A 'Wolf' And A Deposition

Flat earth arguments, lizards, and Leonardo DiCaprio in this week's column.

<b>DONE:</b> President Obama signs the Defend Trade Secrets Act May 11.

How to Prepare for Theft of Company Information

By Nick Akerman and J Jackson |

Companies should take three steps now to ensure use of the Defend Trade Secrets Act.

Roderic V.O. Boggs speaking during the Wiley A. Branton Awards Luncheon, organized by the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, at the JW Marriott in Washington.

IN BRIEF: Rod Boggs Steps Down

Rod Boggs of The Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, stepped down this month after 45 years as executive director. Plus more in this week's column.


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


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

Protecting Innovation in Mergers Is Key

By Janet McDavid, Logan Breed and Falk Schöning |

European Commission and U.S. agencies consider it critical in reviewing potential business marriages.

The Walking Dead.

VOIR DIRE: Spoiling for a Fight

AMC threatens legal action over potential "Walking Dead" revelations. Plus: Stallone gets sued, and censorship is averted in India.

David Mace Roberts.

In-House Counsel Profile: David Mace Roberts

By Suzanne Monyak |

"I'm the first one in so I usually make coffee."

Veronique Pozner places her hand next to artwork made by her son Noah's before testifying before a hearing of a legislative subcommittee reviewing gun laws at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Conn., Monday, Jan. 28, 2013.   Pozner, whose son Noah was killed in the Sandy Hook School shooting, told lawmakers about dropping off two of her daughters at the new Sandy Hook Elementary School in Monroe, and then visiting her son's grave, just five minutes away, to bring a teddy bear.

IN BRIEF: Parents Offer Newtown Deal

The parents of two first-graders killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre are offering to settle their wrongful-death lawsuit against Newtown, Connecticut, and its Board of Education for $5.5 million each. Plus more in this week's column.

Colin Rushing.

In-House Counsel Profile: SoundExchange Inc.'s Colin Rushing

By C. Ryan Barber |

"I've always been a big music fan. So when the Sound­Exchange opportunity popped up, it was this amazing thing."

The Everly Brothers, Don and Phil, perform on July 31, 1964.

IN BRIEF: CBS Wins Fight Over Oldies

CBS has amped up the fight over sound recordings made prior to 1972 with a rare win in California. Plus more in this week's column.

VOIR DIRE: Officer Junior

Turning in your dad for a turn on red; Kraftwerk loses a long-running suit over sampling; and the Notorious RBuG in this week's column.


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

Donald Verrilli, Jr.

INADMISSIBLE: Verrilli to Leave DOJ After Historic Run

U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. is leaving office on June 24 and will be replaced as acting SG by Ian Gershengorn, the principal deputy, the U.S. Justice Department announced on June 2. Plus more in this week's column.

Credit: studioportosabbia/

'Aspire' to Rein in Discovery Demands

By Robert L. Byman |

Procedural rules focuses on "proportionality," but litigators know in their hearts what's reasonable.


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

Bill Cosby

IN BRIEF: Cosby to Stand Trial

Sexual assault charges against Bill Cosby have been held over for trial, a Pennsylvania magisterial district judge ruled May 24. Plus more in this week's column.

Hillary Clinton waves to supporters on Roosevelt Island after announcing she will seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, while her husband, forrmer president Bill Clinton, watches from behind. June 13 2015.

INADMISSIBLE: Big Firms Pay Big Bucks for Clinton Talks

Hogan Lovells, Latham & Watkins and White & Case were among the group of firms that paid $1.75 million into Hillary and Bill Clinton coffers. Plus more in this week's column.

The submerged escape vehicle.

VOIR DIRE: Carted Away

An object lesson in escaping the scene of a crime; battling over a Picasso bust; and party out of bounds in this week's column.

The Defend Trade Secrets Act is More of the Same

By Lewis R. Clayton |

Among the few changes created by the new law are seizure procedures and employee job mobility.

Matt Jacobs, general counsel of Black Duck Software.

In-House Counsel Profile: Black Duck Software Inc.'s Matt Jacobs

By Richard Acello |

"We're a global enterprise. There's always people who are at work someplace, so I'm available if there's anything I can address to keep the wheels of commerce moving forward."

Eric Roeder.

In-House Counsel Profile: Blizzard Entertainment Inc.'s Eric Roeder

By Richard Acello |

"I don't hire firms, I hire lawyers and I'll follow lawyers I like from firm to firm."

With Jurors, Make Sure Goodbye Means 'Forever'

By Aaron S. Bayer |

A pending decision from the Supreme Court shows how problems arise when a jury is recalled.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor speaking at The American Law Institute's Annual Meeting, held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, in Washington, D.C. May 16, 2016.

INADMISSIBLE: Sotomayor Pushes Mandatory Pro Bono

"I believe in forced labor" when it comes to improving access to justice for the poor, she said during an appearance at the American Law Institute's annual meeting in Washington. Plus more in this week's column.


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

VOIR DIRE: The Shining

A not-so-neighborly war over a glaring big-screen TV; a suit over backyard chickens; and everybody wants some credit in this week's column.

Antonin Scalia.

Scalia Provided Example of How Not to Practice

By Douglas S. Lavine |

Intelligent and influential, the late justice nevertheless diminished the profession with caustic rhetoric.

Lily Hughes.

In-House Counsel Profile: Public Storage's Lily Hughes

By Richard Acello |

"You need to be a business executive first, who uses their legal expertise to help the company succeed and drive change. You also have to be adept at risk analysis, seeing risks around the corner."

Movers: A Weekly Roundup of Laterals and Promotions

Laterals and new arrivals in this week's column.

Jenna Greene, Litigation Daily

I'll Take Law Firms For $800, Alex

By Jenna Greene |

It was like winning the PR lottery: Fifteen seconds of unexpected fame for law firms featured May 10 on the TV game show "Jeopardy!"

VOIR DIRE: The Working Dead

A major case of job dissatisfaction in France; dueling flowers; and intervention against the divine in this week's column.

Sally Yates.

INADMISSIBLE: Yates Rips Critics of White-Collar Policy

Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates last week defended the changes the U.S. Department of Justice made to white-collar investigations last year in a speech that attempts to call the bluff of corporate law practitioners. Plus more in this week's column.

DLA Piper's Washington, D.C. offices.

IN BRIEF: DLA Piper to Shed 200 Jobs

DLA Piper plans to cut up to 200 support jobs in the U.K., with the bulk of those roles being moved to a new back-office operations center in Warsaw. Plus more in this week's column.

Movers: A Weekly Roundup of Laterals and Promotions

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

Jennifer Hill.

In-House Counsel Profile: Jennifer Hill

By Richard Acello |

"I'm looking for a partnership that feels like an extension of our company, like they could be in the office next to mine."

Child Support Remains Major Point of Contention

By Mary Kay Kisthardt and Barbara Handschu |

Determining how much children should receive involves factors far beyond taxable income.

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. at the downtown Washington office of Covington & Burling on June 30, 2015.

INADMISSIBLE: No Regrets on Return to Big Law, Says Holder

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. said on April 29 "I am not ashamed" to have returned to private practice after resigning last year, asserting he will continue to advance the justice reform issues he espoused in office as a private attorney. Plus more in this week's column.

The Flying Spaghetti Monster.

VOIR DIRE: Penne for Your Thoughts

A ruling on Pastafarianism and freedom of religion, and fighting for shampoo techs in Tennessee in this week's column.

Amy Hancock.

In-House Counsel Profile: Amy Hancock

By June D. Bell |

Amy Hancock is general counsel of the American Beverage Associ­ation, the trade group of the non­alcoholic beverage industry. The group represents the interests of soft-drink companies, bottled-water producers and makers of energy and sports drinks and teas.

Movers: A Weekly Roundup of Laterals and Promotions

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

Former U.S. Supreme Court justice John Paul Stevens.

INADMISSIBLE: Stevens Recalls Clashes With Scalia, Dentons Doubles Down

By Staff |

Retired Justice John Paul Stevens recalls his clashes with the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Dentons doubles down on demanding payment from ex-McKenna partners. And Rosemary Collyer is named the new presiding judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

VOIR DIRE: No Soup For You

A Texas lawyer fumes when his "Saturday Special" arrives without soup. And Jones Day's Noel Francisco slips when he calls Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg "Justice O'Connor."