Expert Columns

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.


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.


Lateral moves in this week's column.

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.

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."

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.

VOIR DIRE: At Cross Purposes

One side says "public safety," the other side says "defacing public property." Plus more 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.

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.

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.


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

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."

Judges Rejecting Long-Winded Answers

By Robert L. Byman |

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

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.

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.

<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.

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.

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."


New arrivals and lateral moves 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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.


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

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.


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


Laterals and new arrivals 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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

From left: Mark Werbner, a partner in Dallas' Sayles Werbner, with client and Commil c-owner Jonathan David, outside the U.S. Supreme Court in March of this year.

Supreme Court Suggests a Shield Against Infringement Liability

By Ronald G. Embry |

When the chips are down and the stakes are high, a reliable opinion of counsel regarding invalidity and/or noninfringement is still a legally effective shield against charges of indirect infringement and willful infringement.

Marc Taxay, general counsel of Arista Networks Inc.

In-House Counsel Profile: Arista Networks Inc.'s Marc Taxay

By Richard Acello |

Asked what part of the job he likes best, he said, "Feeling like I'm a part of the team that's building a great company."


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

Elizabeth Warren.

INADMISSIBLE: Warren, White Trade Barbs Over the SEC

In a harshly worded 13-page letter, Sen. Elizabeth Warren last week told U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Jo White that she found her leadership "extremely disappointing." Plus more in this week's column.

VOIR DIRE: Card Tricks?

One of the world's largest hotel chains has filed suit against a man it says exploited a flaw in its online ­reservations system to the tune of $48,500. Plus more in this week's column.

<b>LUKE BRUGNARA:</b> Granted the right to represent himself,the accused art thief interrupted the proceedings and defied contempt threats.

Rights and Restrictions of Pro Se Defendants

By Laurie L. Levenson |

Recent decisions have clarified the Sixth Amendment's guarantee of self-representation.

A Fundamental Misunderstanding

By Adrian Dayton |

Social media should be a force multiplier for your firm — something that dramatically increases the effectiveness of the group.

High-Tech GCs Reimagine Their Roles

By Sue Reisinger |

They apply their industry’s values to legal work.

Happiness Eludes Big Firm Lawyers

By Vivia Chen |

Study finds that lawyers in lucrative, prestigious positions are miserable.

United States Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Jr.

INADMISSIBLE: Alito's Son Leaves Gibson For U.S. Senate

Philip Alito, the son of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Jr., has a new job that is drawing criticism as a potential liability for the court itself. Plus more in this week's column.

Attorney Osvaldo Miranda Diaz provides an overview of the Cuban legal system describing the role of lawyers in Cuba and the legal services provided at his firm, Cuban Law Collective.

IN BRIEF: U.S. Lawyers in Cuba

The Cuban bar has no compunctions in voicing its displeasure with that country's legal system to government officials. Yet, Havana attorney Osvaldo Miranda Diaz said they are "getting tired of complaining." Plus more from and other ALM publications.

Is a 5-4 Ruling Really Enough to Undo Laws?

By Aaron S. Bayer |

Amid an increase in the invalidation of statutes, some call for high court to follow states' leads.

Paige Bass, general counsel of SONIC.

In-House Counsel Profile: Sonic Corp.'s Paige Bass

By June D. Bell |

"When I was in private practice I did litigation, and we'd get bogged down in discovery dispute. But in-house, I'm on the front line of helping business get done."


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

Robert Plant (left) and Jimmy Page (right) of Led Zeppelin, in concert in Chicago, Illinois.  1977.

VOIR DIRE: Whole Lotta Self-Love

The surviving members of Led Zeppelin would like it known how much they rock. Also, they didn't steal from another band's song to create their most enduring hit. Plus more in this week's column.

Tread With Caution When Representing Marijuana Clients

By Courtney G. Saleski and Mark A. Kasten |

As state laws permitting the use and distribution of marijuana—medical or recreational—are enacted, many entrepreneurs see an opportunity to be part of this "budding" industry. But because marijuana distribution, even intrastate, remains categorically illegal under federal law, federal authorities may seek to prosecute marijuana distributors, those who aid such distribution and those who launder the proceeds from that distribution, among others.

Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

VOIR DIRE: A Song for Soldiers

Attorney George Kieffer is well-known for his civic involvement: A member of the University of California Board of Regents, he also helped write the city charter of Los Angeles. But he's also a lifelong musician. Plus more in this week's column.

Rising to the Top Of the Maybe Pile

By Adrian Dayton |

We all want more business, not more maybes. But if you really want more business, you need to be on the radar of many more people than just those who will end up hiring you.

<b>WEIGHTY ISSUE:</b> Ruling involving the dietary supplement has created uncertainty for lawyers.

Third Circuit Creates Turmoil Over Certification

By Arthur H. Bryant |

Appeals court won't rehear case that changes long-standing inquiry regarding class definition.

Yelp general counsel Lawrence Wilson

In-House Counsel Profile: Yelp Inc.'s Laurence Wilson

By Richard Acello |

Wilson gave up early ambitions for a biotechnology career. "I didn't enjoy being in a lab; it was kind of lonely and repetitive," he said.


New arrivals and laterals in this week's column.


Laterals and new arrivals in this week's column.

Ben Affleck, wearing Batman's traditional black and gray, in the film <i>Batman v Superman:  Dawn of Justice.</i>

VOIR DIRE: The Fluorescent Knight

A man shows up for a meeting with his attorney in a "fluorescent green Batman" outfit, and the attorney suspects "drink had been taken." Plus: noodle wars and Fitbit fights in this week's column.

Atlanta skyline.

IN BRIEF: City Held in Contempt

A federal judge has held the city of Atlanta in contempt and imposed sanctions for its failure to meet the terms of a settlement with a woman arrested by police while she filmed them arresting her neighbor. Plus more from and other ALM publications.

Rick Chung, general counsel of Bowlmor AMF Corp.

In-House Counsel Profile: Bowlmor AMF Corp.'s Rick Chung

By June D. Bell |

"I know the processes that need to be put in place to create a foundation for adequate growth."

<b>TAKE NOTE:</b> Leslie Caldwell, assistant attorney general in charge of the DOJ’s Criminal Division, recently discussed internal corporate investigations.

Valuable Insight from DOJ's Criminal Division

By George J. Terwilliger III |

Assistant attorney general reveals details that corporations should know about investigations.

U.S. District Court judge Amy Berman Jackson.

INADMISSIBLE: Justice Dept. Loses Laptop Search Dispute

Federal agents do not have unlimited power to search laptops and other electronic devices without a warrant at the border, including airports, a federal judge in Washington has ruled. Plus more in this week's column.

What Do Men Want, Anyway?

By Vivia Chen |

Few men want housewives these days.