The rise of legal operations as an occupation in corporations’ law departments has given rise to legal operations professionals in law firms, resulting in both groups creating synergies to further support better business acumen in their respective firms and law department hierarchies. This interview takes a look inside Barnes & Thornburg’s Legal Operations Department to view what law firms are doing to meet the needs of clients and their legal operations counterparts.


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Article by James A. Merklinger /  Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC)

There is no doubt that 2016 was a record-setting year in the history of the enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The nearly $2.5 billion in settlements that companies paid to resolve FCPA cases dwarfs the previous year’s figure of $133 million. However, nearly absent from the books last year were incidents in the Middle East.
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Article by Beth S. Rose / Sills Cummis & Gross PC

Who would have thought that the question of where venue lies in a patent infringement action could generate so much buzz among lawyers? But it has. The U.S. Supreme Court’s May decision in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group Brands held that, under the patent venue statute, a domestic corporation resides only in its state of incorporation.

This was a big deal. The implications for forum shopping could be huge. But don’t count plaintiffs out yet. They still have options. And some of them may create new problems for defendants.

But first, let’s review how we got here.


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Article by John Filar Atwood / Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.

 

U.S. Department of Justice officials have gone out of their way recently to emphasize that enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is alive and well under the new administration. Perhaps in response to concerns that President Donald Trump is reportedly no fan of the FCPA, both Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco and Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Trevor McFadden said in recent public remarks that the DOJ continues to vigorously investigate and enforce FCPA violations. Worth noting in McFadden’s comments is that the prosecution of individuals remains a DOJ priority.
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Interview with Steven Maslowski / Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Steven Maslowski, an IP litigator at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, handles cases on the cutting edge of life sciences. It’s a complicated place to be these days, as the courts are sorting through changes in the law and litigators are waiting for guidance from the Food and Drug Administration. And it’s all playing to the tune of something called “the patent dance.” The interview has been edited for style and length.
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By Mary O’Carroll, head of legal operations at Google

Many of you have asked me to post my closing remarks from the 2017 CLOC Institute that wrapped up last week. It was an incredible event and I am honored to be a part of the CLOC movement. #CLOC2017 

It is my great pleasure to say a few words to close out our time together. Where do I even begin? What can I say to do justice to what we’ve just experienced?  How about this for starters: we just completed the world’s largest legal operations event in history!

I experienced so many amazing moments over the last few days. One in particular stands out… It was the eve of the Institute and I was standing on a patio, overlooking the Bellagio fountains and the famous Las Vegas strip.  As I looked up, I saw the Bellagio marquee, one of the most well recognized and iconic billboards in the entire world. And on it was an image that read “Welcome CLOC.”  I had to stop and pinch myself.  Think about how far we have come!  This is an organization that didn’t even exist a year and a half ago!


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By Stephanie Mullette, Robert E. Bostrom, National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), Abercrombie & Fitch

Introduction: As the role of general counsel has evolved, they are increasingly called upon to provide corporate boards with advice on company strategy and business operations. This has led the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) to launch a new initiative, the Strategic-Asset GC, designed to help boards fulfill their mission of creating long-term corporate value. Stephanie Mullette, NACD’s Director of Corporate Solutions, and Robert E. Bostrom, previously a lawyer at the Federal Reserve of New York who became a partner at Winston & Strawn, SNR Denton and Greenberg Traurig, and general counsel of NatWest Bancorp, Freddie Mac and, currently, Abercrombie & Fitch, discuss below the initiative and what it takes to be a Strategic-Asset GC. Their remarks have been edited for length and style.


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By: Joe Calve, Metropolitan Corporate Counsel

Last month, in the sweltering depths of a tumultuous summer, the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ), an association of top state judicial leaders, and its civilian counterpart, the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA), took an important, if little noticed, step toward righting a badly listing civil justice ship. Both groups threw their weight behind a report by CCJ’s 23-member Civil Justice Improvement Committee (CJIC), led by Chief Justice Thomas A. Balmer of Oregon, beseeching state judicial leaders to take 13 specific steps to improve the U.S. civil justice system. The report, entitled “Call to Action: Achieving Civil Justice for All,” is a joint venture of the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) and the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS), with funding provided by the State Justice Institute (SJI). Joining Balmer’s committee were a number of corporate law department representatives, including David G. Leitch, Global GC of Bank of America; Tom Falahee, Assistant GC of Ford; and two retired GCs, Thomas Allman of BASF and Kim Brunner of State Farm.

If acronyms are any indicator, this effort just may have legs.

As we’ve written here previously, the planets
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By: Veta T. Richardson, Association of Corporate Counsel and Caren Ulrich Stacy, OnRamp Fellowship

At the entry level, men and women join the legal profession at the same rates, yet by the time they reach leadership roles, less than 20 percent of partners are women. Corporate legal departments suffer the same disparity. This leaky pipeline is partially due to women’s choice to set aside their careers for child-rearing. As a recruiter, Caren Ulrich Stacyrecognized that a highly motivated talent pool was not being tapped and created OnRamp Fellowship – now joined by OnRamp In-House, an initiative the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) has joined with – to reintroduce women lawyers returning to the field after an absence. Here, Stacy and Veta T. Richardson of ACC discuss the evolution the program and the depth of the need to address the root causes. Their remarks have been edited for length and style.

MCC: What is the mission behind OnRamp Fellowship?

Stacy: OnRamp Fellowship is a re-entry or “returnship” platform that offers opportunities for women lawyers interested in returning to the workforce after taking time off from their legal jobs in order to raise a family or pursue other


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