Features

GC New England

Let's Chat About Legal Risks Of Instant Messaging

By SETH A. NORTHROP and LI ZHU |

As technology advances, corporations are increasingly discovering that employee gossip has migrated from the office watercooler to instant messaging platforms. IM programs can be internal or external.

Turning Legal Departments Into Profit Centers

By JOHN VISHNESKI and ABRAHAM SOUZA |

Traditionally, corporate legal departments play defense, not offense. However, there is a recent trend that is turning tradition on its head and turning legal departments into profit centers.

Tracking Trends In Corporate Counsel Compensation

By MARLISSE SILVER SWEENEY |

Are the pay packages in your legal department keeping up with the Joneses? The new "In-House Counsel Compensation Report" from General Counsel Metrics LLC and Major, Lindsey & Africa, a legal search firm, deciphers the trends in compensation by compiling data from over 1,700 in-house lawyers at approximately 480 U.S. and Canadian companies.

Bringing Business To An Emerging Nation

In February, Mark Nordstrom took a four-day trip to Myanmar, a Southeast Asian country formerly known as Burma. As a senior counsel for the Fairfield, Conn.-based General ­Electric Company who specializes in labor and employment law, he has global responsibility for legal aspects of its human resources policies.

Four Linsane Lessons For GCs Dealing With Crises

By JAMES F. HAGGERTY |

In my work as a consultant on crisis communications and other complex public perception issues, I'm often accused of relying too heavily on sports metaphors when counseling and training.

Corporate Lawyers Warned Of Misclassification Risks

By SHANNON GREEN |

There are a lot of perceived advantages associated with hiring independent contractors, especially when budgets are tight and staffing needs aren't certain. But Emily Sanford Johnson, a labor and employment attorney with United Parcel Service, believes that companies need to carefully weigh the risks associated with using such workers.

Is The Workplace The Right Forum To Discuss Race?

By GRACE TATTER |

In an episode of the NBC sitcom The Office, clueless office manager Michael Scott tries to lead a meaningful discussion on race with his employees—and offends nearly all of them in the process. Such a clumsily executed discussion is probably not what President Barack Obama had in mind when he implored Americans to use the workplace as a forum for productive discussions about race in a speech following the George Zimmerman verdict.

A General Counsel's Cyber-Resolutions For 2014

By PETER J. BESHAR |

The new director of the FBI recently testified before Congress that cyberattacks would likely eclipse terrorism as the No. 1 threat to U.S. domestic security. That assessment echoed earlier warnings from senior U.S. officials of the potential for a "Cyber Pearl Harbor."

Top Five Mistakes Made By New In-House Counsel

By ALAN BUSH |

Hindsight is 20/20. When a lawsuit is done, I do an after-action report to look for lessons learned. I've always found at least one thing I'll do differently next time.

Wage And Hour Suits Continue Decade-Long Surge

By CATHERINE DUNN |

For the fifth year in a row, U.S. employers have seen an increase in the number of wage-and-hour lawsuits filed against them in federal court, according to calculations by the Federal Judicial Center. Plaintiffs brought 7,764 suits between April 1, 2012, and March 31, 2013, about a 10 percent jump since 2012.

Companies Wary Of Privacy Invasion Claims

By ROBIN COHEN and MICHAEL DiCANIO |

Fueled by statutory damages that can amount to millions of dollars, companies are increasingly finding themselves the subject of class-action lawsuits for alleged invasions of privacy, including violations of federal and state statutes, as well as claims of negligence and of common law invasion of privacy.

NLRB Makes Another Facebook Ruling

By LAUREL NEWBY |

Employment law blogs, including Porter Wright's Employer Law Report and Ogletree Deakins' Employment Law Matters, have been discussing a recently released National Labor Relations Board memorandum that addresses when an employee may be fired over negative comments about an employer on social media.

Fantasy Football Offers Clues To Compliance Philosophy

By RYAN McCONNNELL and MICHELLE LEE |

A continuous wave of compliance failures, in areas ranging from money laundering to corruption, has presented a number of "Help Wanted" signs with compliance-minded companies (or those that have become compliance minded at the suggestion of enforcement regulators).

ACC Revamps Online Compliance Tool

By REBEKAH MINTZER |

The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) launched a new version of an online portal Tuesday that it hopes will provide in-house attorneys with the information and training materials they need to better deal with ethics and compliance (E&C) issues.

How To Tame The Legal Spending Behemoth

By BOB BARKER |

It's a major challenge for many companies' legal departments: finding a way to do more with less. Workloads have expanded as a result of stepped-up compliance and regulation demands, and shrinking budgets have meant a shortage of staff to execute required work.