Interview with Clifford Barr / Andeavor

Clifford Barr is an associate general counsel for Andeavor, an integrated marketing, logistics and petroleum refining company. Until recently the company was called Tesoro Corporation, where Barr was employed for a dozen years. His job there changed dramatically about a year ago, when the company hired Kim Rucker as its new general counsel. Rucker had previously been general counsel at Kraft, where there was an established legal operations group. But Tesoro, which Barr describes as “very traditional as far as the legal department goes,” had never had one. Rucker was determined to change that. She saw that Barr, whose work in procurement had led him to develop processes and to standardize and streamline procedures, had an aptitude for this sort of thing. (His years as an Air Force JAG officer also came in handy.) So she asked him to create and lead a legal operations team to help transform the legal department from a cost center to a strategic value-added business partner. The interview has been edited for style and length.

Continue Reading Legal Ops 101 for Law Departments: Using key performance indicators and productivity tools to create better outcomes

Interview with Mike Dillon / Adobe Systems Inc.

Mike Dillon, the general counsel of Adobe Systems Inc., isn’t fond of the way many lawyers write. And it’s not just the legal briefs that are anything but. His dissatisfaction even extends to contracts like nondisclosure agreements. So, not long after he landed at the software company in 2012, he set out to do something about it. He thought there was no reason why NDAs had to be a half-dozen pages or longer. He believed they could be reduced to a single page. Taking a cue from our subject, this interview has been edited for style and length.

Continue Reading How We Stripped Down NDAs: Adobe’s GC wanted a nondisclosure agreement template that could be used without calling a lawyer

Article by Eric Lambert 

Nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) – also known as confidentiality agreements, confidential disclosure agreements and proprietary information agreements – are something most business leaders and attorneys deal with from time to time. However, few companies have formalized why, when and how NDAs should be used. Different people at the same organization may have very different approaches to using them, resulting in inconsistent protection of a company’s confidential information and potentially jeopardizing company trade secrets.

Continue Reading Everything You Wanted to Know About NDAs but Were Afraid to Disclose: When and why you need nondisclosure agreements and how to execute them

Article by Joe Calve

Thomson Reuters recently released the first edition of a new semiannual report focused on legal department operations. It’s called the Legal Tracker LDO Index Benchmarking & Trends Report, which puts it squarely under the company’s e-billing and matter management brand, Legal Tracker. (Tracker evolved out of Thomson’s 2010 acquisition of Serengeti and has become the most widely used e-billing platform in the world.)

Continue Reading Backstory: From Chaos to Clout

Interview with Alisa McLellan / Inventus

Alisa McLellan, a licensed attorney, is the director of project management for the Chicago and New York offices at Inventus. She and her team work with inside and outside counsel to manage large data-collection projects for both litigation and internal investigations. In this interview, Alisa shares strategies for managing highly effective and cost efficient e-discovery initiatives. Her remarks have been edited for length and style.

Continue Reading How You Could Be Using Metrics in E-Discovery: General counsel now have the ability to get more involved in the process

Article by Rees Morrison / Altman Weil

Law departments of the world, unite. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain with data analytics!

Your business is awash in numbers, along with software tools you can use to learn from them. You also have an important cadre of allies: Your key law firms have for years been stockpiling operational numbers about your work that will help you increase and demonstrate your department’s value to your company. But those firms need prodding to encourage them to mine their data for your benefit. That’s why you need to stay informed and involved.

The five imperatives below are the kinds of things you may want to say to your key firms. If you do, this manifesto gives you an easy way to deliver the message.
Continue Reading A Manifesto for Metrics: Law departments need to prod their outside counsel to use data more effectively

Article by David Hechler

There was an early television show called Naked City, and it always ended with this voice-over: “There are eight million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them.” There must be more than eight million in the civil justice litigation docket. Here’s one that highlights an important trend by veering the other way.

Continue Reading Civil Justice Playbook: The Exception Highlights the Trend

This one has a twist – it’s a type of insurance

Article by David Hechler

There’s been a lot of talk about third-party litigation funding in recent months. The industry seems to be doing well – business is apparently booming. And that success has inspired a new entrant into the marketplace.

But what’s new isn’t the company. It’s the product the firm has introduced. The firm is offering a kind of insurance.

The company is called TheJudge, and it’s based in London. TheJudge has been quietly funding litigation in the U.S. for several years now. But in June, it cleared its throat and announced that it was formally launching its U.S. business. And it wouldn’t mind a drumroll and cymbal crash, thank you.

Continue Reading Civil Justice Playbook: A New Kind of Litigation Funding

By Jason Mark Anderman / American Express Company

What if you and your counterparty possessed 100 percent certainty that every word and every signature in every contract you’ve negotiated were perfectly accurate? What if every payment obligation could be automatically enforced without human involvement? What if you could stack contractual duties in condition-precedent dominoes so that you automatically paid a supplier fee only after valid confirmation of goods delivery?

This is no fantasy. It’s the world offered by smart contracts today.

Continue Reading Blockchain for Lawyers: New technology has changed the capabilities of documents once done with paper and pen

Interview with Linda Hovanec / Wolters Kluwer ELM Solutions

Linda Hovanec is a senior director in product management, global business intelligence and analytics at Wolters Kluwer ELM Solutions. Lately, she has been devoting a good deal of time to studying law departments’ billing processes. A recent survey that ELM Solutions collaborated on revealed that companies aren’t all that happy with the billing guidelines they use to manage their law firms, and they aren’t doing very much to make them better. As Hovanec sees it, they’re missing a big opportunity to simultaneously strengthen their guidelines and enforcement, while also improving their relationships with their law firms. Her remarks have been edited for style and length.

Continue Reading What Law Departments Need to Know About Billing Guidelines: A survey suggests that many departments have plenty of questions and concerns