Counsel Needs to Focus on Developing Company’s Legal IQ

By Carol L. O’Riordan A current article in Corporate Counsel magazine asks the critical question: What’s your company’s legal IQ? The article points out that these days, legal issues are often quite diffused within sizable companies, so that managers don’t always recognize them as such. In addition, corporate legal departments haven’t necessarily done a good job […]

In-House GC’s: Their Crucial Role in Corporate Compliance

By Pamela J. Bethel What role should in-house lawyers play in assuring that corporate compliance standards are met? Should companies have a separate compliance department, or should it be part of the legal department and report to the general counsel? Mitratech, an  Austin, Tex.-based consulting firm that works with corporate legal departments, just issued a […]

A Big Win for Privilege in Internal Corporate Investigations

By Pamela J. Bethel Last May, we wrote in this blog that we hoped and expected the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to reverse a district judge’s opinion and to permit companies to assert attorney-client privilege for internal documents created in the course of a bona fide investigation by inside counsel. If […]

New Article: Putting Profitability Into the Pipeline

On August 14, 2014, partner Carol L. O’Riordan and associate Anthony J. Marchese published an article titled “Putting Organization, Compliance and Improved Profitability into the Pipeline” in the Utility Contractor magazine. The article notes that after a contract is signed and while work is proceeding, a company, such as a construction company, should name one […]

Is it Safer to Discuss Some Things with Outside Counsel? (Pt. 2)

By Carol O’Riordan and Jay Shah How should courts go about deciding, in close cases, whether an internal memorandum constitutes privileged legal advice or discoverable business advice? Bhandari v. Artesia Gen. Hospital, the New Mexico case discussed in our previous post, is illustrative. It involved an employment dispute between a hospital corporation and two doctors […]

Is it Safer to Discuss Some Things with Outside Counsel?

By Carol O’Riordan and Jay Shah Does the attorney-client privilege apply less definitively to in-house counsel than to outside attorneys? About a year ago, the New Mexico Court of Appeals ruled in Bhandari v. Artesia General Hospital that a memo written by a hospital’s general counsel regarding an employee’s termination was not privileged because it […]

To Protect Your Secrets, Get a Non-Disclosure Agreement in Advance

 By Anthony Marchese As we highlighted in our previous post on the C.R.T.R case in federal court in Massachusetts, any company that entrusts independent contractors with proprietary information runs the risk that this information could be misused to the company’s detriment.  In the absence of any agreement to the contrary, independent contractors are under no […]

No Confidentiality Agreement, No Trade-Secret Protection

By Anthony Marchese A Massachusetts lower-court ruling from earlier this year in the area of trade secrets law has drawn a good deal of attention and is worth noting here. In this case, C.R.T.R., Inc. v. Lao, a recycling company called C.R.T.R. hired Kenneth Lao as an independent contractor to help run the business. Lao […]

Privilege Is Necessary to Ensure Successful Internal Investigations

When a company undertakes an internal investigation of suspected wrongdoing, in-house attorneys are often the ones who do the investigating. Very often, in-house lawyers thus take a central role in a company’s compliance function, and one of the first steps that they take at the direction of top management is to conduct a no-holds-barred investigation […]