Expert Columns


In-House Counsel Profile: Raymond Fortin

By Kristen Rasmussen |

"I serve as a resource to our younger lawyers, and I'll tend to provide advice that cuts across subject matter areas."

Michele Threefoot in her Justice Ginsburg costume.

VOIR DIRE: Supreme Shoutout

By Richard Binder |

A SCOTUS justice for "Superhero Day," somebody's still behind the wheel in the "Drive" lawsuit, and a drug bust is a total bust in this week's column.

Barack Obama at Harvard in 1990.


President Obama's "mixtape," the kombucha comeback in Virginia, and an incompetent bank robber in this week's column.

Jordan Zamir, vice president and general counsel of Minted.

In-House Counsel Profile: Jordan Zamir

"One of the best parts of my role here is that I never know quite what to expect."


IN BRIEF: A Nutty Brief

The Florida Bar this year filed a complaint against Bernardo Roman III for allegedly making a false 911 call in an attempt to get his opposing counsel in a legal malpractice case locked up. Plus more in this week's column.

VOIR DIRE: Buzz Kill…

Caffeine influence; the legal legacy of Carrie and Debbie; and maybe the squirrel was a squatter in this week's column.

Eve Burton, senior vice president and general counsel of the Hearst Corporation.

In-House Counsel Profile: Eve Burton

By Kristen Rasmussen |

"We are a de minimus spender of outside legal fees."

ATM Plaintiffs May Proceed to Uncertain Results

By David C. Kully |

SCOTUS returned to lower courts a case alleging Visa and MasterCard blocked ATM competition.

Why Less is Better — Even for Lawyers

By Douglas Lavine |

Why are attorneys so verbose? One theory — gasp — we think we are more eloquent than we are.

UNT Dallas College of Law.

IN BRIEF: Texas Supreme Ct. Allows UNT Law Grads to Take Bar Exam

The first graduates of the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law can take the bar exam even though their school is still struggling to win accreditation. Plus more in this week's column.

Edward Gallagher, NCR senior vice president, general counsel and secretary

In-House Counsel Profile: Edward Gallagher

By Kristen Rasmussen |

"We aren't like the old stereotype of the naysaying lawyer, and I'm very happy and proud to run that type of a team."

Incoming White House Counsel Don McGahn plays guitar Dec. 10 at a venue in Philadelphia where his band, called Scott’s New Band, played their final show.

VOIR DIRE: Swan Song

The incoming White House counsel bids the band life farewell; a lawsuit over bad grades; and a temporarily favorable bank glitch in this week's column.

Will Trump Make America Corrupt Again?

By Michael D. Goldhaber, The Global Lawyer |

President-elect Donald Trump once called the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act a "horrible law." Will the U.S. continue to play the role of global corporate corruption cop?

John Lapham, general counsel of

In-House Counsel Profile: John Lapham

By Jan Wolfe |

"I'm trying to work with regulatory bodies to show them we are making a process safer than it was before."


Lateral moves in this week's column.

VOIR DIRE: Vitamin K for Krispy?

By Richard Binder |

A man expected fruit in his raspberry creme doughnuts; a storage center looks for answers and not a fight; and mugshots with parrots in this week's column.

Courts Consider What to Do with Frozen Embryos

By Barbara Handschu and Mary Kay Kisthardt |

When couples divorce, courts must balance the right to procreate with the right not to.

IN BRIEF: Judge Awards Fees In Discrimination Suit Against Uber

In a bitter fee fight between lawyers for Uber Technologies Inc. and three law firms that sued the company over alleged discrimination against blind passengers, a federal judge in San Jose has largely sided with the plaintiffs lawyers. Plus more in this week's column.

Does Your Firm's Website Repel Women?

By Paola Cecchi-Dimeglio |

A few 'nudges' can make your web presentation more attractive relative to gender and race.


VOIR DIRE: Jailhouse Rock

By Richard Binder |

Police on Prince Edward Island threaten an unusual punishment for drunk driving; everybody's an art critic these days; and he wasn't ready for that jelly in this week's column.

Johnson & Johnson Headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

IN BRIEF: Jury Awards $1B to Six Plaintiffs in Hip Implant Case

Johnson & Johnson lost a $1 billion verdict on Dec. 1 in a closely watched trial over a hip implant device made by its DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. division. Plus more in this week's column.

Jon Kaplan, general counsel of ChargePoint.

In-House Counsel Profile: Jonathan Kaplan

By Jan Wolfe |

"No in-house attorney can do a truly excellent job unless they understand their business inside and out."

It's Easier for Employers to Sue for Data Theft

By Nick Akerman |

Why a Ninth Circuit decision and an amendment to the Economic Espionage Act change the landscape.

VOIR DIRE: Burrito Betrayal?

By Richard Binder |

Chipotle is sued over allegedly deceptive calorie counts; an IP attorney hears the muse calling over Dr. Seuss and fair use; and you can't pay for everything with pizza in this week's column.


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

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa

IN BRIEF: Mylan Won't Testify at EpiPen Hearing, Draws Grassley's Ire

Obama administration officials and Mylan N.V. are declining to send representatives to testify at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this month that would explore the government's $465 million settlement with the pharmaceutical company over its alleged misclassification of the EpiPen for purposes of Medicaid rebates. Plus more in this week's column.

E.M. Lysonge, vice president, general counsel and secretary of CafePress

In-House Counsel Profile: E.M. Lysonge

By Jennifer Williams-Alvarez |

"I focus on the talent in the firms."


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

Preventing Juror Misconduct is a Big Challenge

By Laurie L. Levenson |

This term, the Supreme Court is taking a look at juror misconduct from a different perspective.

Edward Knight, executive vice president and general counsel of Nasdaq.

In-House Counsel Profile: Edward Knight

By Stephanie Forshee |

"The change that has occurred in this space has been exciting."

IN BRIEF: DOJ Announces $264M Deal

A subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co. ran a nepotism program on a grand scale in China, Justice Department officials said Nov. 17, as the bank agreed to pay $264.4 million to settle allegations it hired the sons and daughters of government officials to bribe its way to investment deals. Plus more in this week's column.

VOIR DIRE: When You Gotta Go

A lawyer's trip to the bathroom nearly derails a case. Plus: a steamy art heist in Florida and a foiled syrup heist, but an attorney's life isn't always so glamorous in this week's column.

Scott Offer.

In-House Counsel Profile: Scott Offer

By David Ruiz |

“People who advise in a vacuum are not very useful.”

Frederick Nance, Cleveland-based regional managing partner at Squire Patton Boggs.

IN BRIEF: Nance to Lead Squire Patton

Squire Patton Boggs announced Nov. 7 that Cleveland-based partner Frederick Nance will be the global firm's next managing partner for U.S. operations, beginning Jan. 1. Plus more in this week's column.

Draguseni, Romania

VOIR DIRE: Seeing Triple

By Richard Binder |

And you thought our election was complicated. Plus: A battle over a neighborhood garage and a possibly illegal sandwich delivery via drone in this week's column.

International law systems, justice, human rights and global business education concept with world flags on a school globe and a gavel on a desk on blue background.

A Dose of 'Vitamin C' Boosts International Comity

By Craig Seebald, Lindsey Vaala and Ralph Mayrell |

Heeding foreign mandates while conducting business abroad may stave off U.S. antitrust allegations.

Design patent blue prints

Representing Design Patent Owners? Read On.

By Jayme Partridge, Jessie Herrera and Rob Gerlach |

Food for thought: In inter partes review, the institution of trial likely means invalidation.

Nancy Shurtz.

IN BRIEF: Law Prof Faces Controversy

Some colleagues are calling for the resignation of University of Oregon School of Law professor Nancy Shurtz after she wore blackface to an off-campus Halloween party attended by some law faculty and students. Plus more in this week's column.

Anne Benedict, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary of Summit Materials.

In-House Counsel Profile: Anne Benedict

By Richard Acello |

"There are many different pathways to the general counsel role, and I recommend people should try to keep their doors open."


Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live.

VOIR DIRE: Real vs. SNL Trump

By Richard Binder |

A motion from Donald Trump's defense team in the Trump University case is rebutted with Alec Baldwin's impersonation. Plus: Château-no-UFOs-du-Pape in this week's column.


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

Gordon Repp of LaSalle Investment Management

In-House Counsel Profile: Gordon Repp

By Rich Acello |

Repp is the general counsel at LaSalle Investment Management Inc., a global real estate investment manager.

Can Employers Ban Workers' Class Actions?

By Arthur Bryant |

Four cases now up for U.S. Supreme Court review allege employees were cheated out of overtime pay.

NOT ASHER WOODWORTH: A rendering of Treebeard the Ent from Tolkien's

VOIR DIRE: Leaf Him Alone

By Richard Binder |

A tree guy, Starbucks-styled bongs thwarted, and other moments of madness in this week's column.

VOIR DIRE: Drunkemon Go?

By Richard Binder |

A 23-year-old New York man sent police on a wild Wigglytuff chase, plus more in this week's column.

IN BRIEF: Dreamworks' $50M Deal

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. has reached a $50 million settlement to get out of a class action alleging that the animation studio held down employee wages through a "no-poach" conspiracy with other companies. Plus more in this week's column.

Alyson Barker, chief legal officer and corporate secretary of Drybar.

In-House Counsel Profile: Alyson G. Barker

By June Bell |

"I always joke that I must be a glutton for punishment."


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

Delaware Supreme Court Building

Beating the Drum for Full Disclosure

By William Savitt |

Decisions by Delaware courts push merger planners toward more disclosure before a stockholder vote.


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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.


Lateral moves and new arrivals 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.

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.

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.


Lateral moves and new arrivals 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."

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.


Lateral moves and new arrivals 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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

Review of Anti-Discrimination Policies is Key

By R. Anthony Prather |

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

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.

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.

Michael Poterala.

In-House Counsel Profile: Mike Poterala

By Suzanne Monyak |

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

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."

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.


Lateral moves and new arrivals 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.

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.

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.