Interview with A. Carter Arey / McGuireWoods

A. Carter Arey is a senior counsel at McGuireWoods who co-leads the firm’s ClientSync team. Her focus is on legal project management (LPM), which is designed to help the lawyers deliver what their corporate clients want: quality legal services, pricing and predictability that they can understand and plan around. The interview has been edited for length and style.

Continue Reading Giving General Counsel Pricing Predictability: How one firm is honing a process and proprietary technology to deliver accurate estimates

By Rees Morrison/Altman Weil, Inc.

Day after day, managers confront operational problems, think about them and make choices about what to do or not to do. In other words, they decide something. But they don’t always take into account the data available to them when they make those decisions.

Continue Reading Data Should Drive Decisions: It can help counter conscious or unconscious bias

By Joe Calve

The Association of Corporate Counsel has released a broad new survey, “Global Perspectives: ACC In-House Trends Report,” focused on issues that have a direct impact on the professional lives of corporate counsel. Almost 2,000 in-house lawyers across 53 countries participated, including 81 percent who are ACC members, 31 percent who work outside the U.S. and 28 percent who are the top legal executive (GC or CLO) in their company.

Some of the trends identified, especially in the section on in-house legal/business priorities, are “painfully obvious,” as ACC puts it. Compliance, regulatory and cybersecurity continue to top the list of in-house concerns and, as ACC reports, are driving law departments to divert resources their way.

Continue Reading Backstory: Happy Campers, Happy Feet

Interview with Christine Coats / Oracle Corporation

Christine Coats has made bringing new speed and efficiency to legal operations the focus of her career. After an early stint with IBM, she became Director of Legal Operations at Symantec in 2005, at a time when the function barely existed. At Symantec, she acted as the general counsel’s chief of staff and ran business operations for the COO’s office. In 2015 she was hired as Vice President of Legal Operations at an even larger software company – Oracle Corporation – where she acts as the general counsel’s right hand. She also serves as the CFO of the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC). The interview has been edited for style and length.

Continue Reading The GC’s Right Hand: A legal ops trailblazer found her way when there was no trail. Now she helps others find theirs.

Article by Jeanne Somma / RVM Enterprises, Inc.

How we manage e-discovery is an ever-evolving thing. As the landscape changes, new trends constantly emerge that alter the way that corporations, law firms and service providers operate. Constant change is expected and necessary, given that data volumes continue to skyrocket. Coupled with stagnating and even declining litigation budgets, this means that the industry is ripe for yet another round of evolution.

Corporate legal departments have answered the call for change and realize that they must find new ways to control soaring costs. By thinking about where they came from, these departments have realized that years of litigation have given them one precious thing that may help – enough historical data to build tracking and prediction methods for the future.

Continue Reading Using Your Data to Predict Litigation Costs: Technology is driving up costs, but it may also hold the key to getting a handle on them

Metropolitan Corporate Counsel invites you to join us for How to Build a Diversity Initiative in Support of ABA Resolution 113, a complimentary webinar on Wednesday, August 23rd at 1:00 pm EST.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

With so many departments using e-billing systems today, it is easy to track work performed in hours and dollars down to the timekeeper level, rather than simply looking at firm ownership alone. Diversity information can be reported and used to demonstrate contributions to the corporate goals, create targets for improvement, and to initiate meaningful conversations with firms about hiring and staffing practices. This session will offer a facilitated discussion on the potential pitfalls, and ethical, legal, and privacy issues associated with building a diversity initiative.

Continue Reading Complimentary Webinar: How to Build a Diversity Initiative in Support of ABA Resolution 113

Metropolitan Corporate Counsel is excited to invite our readers to attend the new CLE in the City Series, supported by all of the major New York City law firms that came together to host the ABA Annual Meeting. This innovative collection of programs will be presented at leading firms and other special venues in midtown Manhattan on Thursday, August 10, and Friday, August 11.

Continue Reading CLE in the City Series

By Joe Calve

Nine general counsel of non-insurance companies sent a letter to the American Law Institute on the eve of the organization’s annual meeting expressing “strong concern” over the direction taken in its proposed Restatement of Law, Liability Insurance. In response, ALI on May 23 postponed a final vote, noting that the draft’s Reporters needed another year to complete their work. Glenn Lammi, Chief Counsel, Legal Studies Division, of the Washington Legal Foundation, who has tracked this controversy, in an article posted to Forbes (bit.ly/2stN48x) called it “an especially troubling instance of where the American Law Institute (ALI), a private organization known for its ‘Restatements’ of common law in areas such as torts, products liability, and contracts, was instead revising the law. . . . ALI’s stated mission is to ‘clarify’ and ‘modernize’ the law. . . . With projects like the Restatement of the Law, Copyright (which we criticized in a 2015 post) and now the liability insurance Restatement, the organization has been blurring the line between restating and revising.” The following excerpts from the GCs’ letter have been edited for length and style.

Continue Reading GCs to ALI: Back Off!

Article by: Michael W. Peregrine

The challenges associated with board oversight duties in “crisis situations,” and related expectations regarding director attentiveness, are highlighted in a recent Wall Street Journal article concerning Theranos. It serves as a reminder of the valuable role that general counsel can play in supporting the ability of directors to satisfy these duties and expectations.

Continue Reading Recognizing the Contours of a Warning Sign: General counsel should ensure that their boards know a red flag when they see one

Article by: Kyle Reykalin / FRONTEO

Conducting cost-effective and efficient e-discovery for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations involving U.S. and Japanese companies requires a rare combination of legal, cultural and technological skills. Here are seven common obstacles, and practical tips to help e-discovery teams overcome them.

1. Bridge dissimilar legal systems. It’s important to understand the differences between the two legal systems. Japanese in-house counsel are often surprised at the scope, expense and formality of the American discovery process, as well as the danger that their confidential business documents and strategies might be shared. American attorneys occasionally assume that the in-house legal departments of large Japanese corporations are familiar with uniquely American legal concepts, such as attorney-client privilege. Care must be taken to clearly explain the requirements of confidentiality, electronically stored information collection, the obligations of legal hold and other discovery concepts.

Continue Reading Seven Tips for Handling E-Discovery in Cross-Border FCPA Investigations: Dealing with two languages more than doubles the complexity