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In-house Access

Insight & Commentary for In-House Counsel Worldwide

Disposing of Protected Health Information Under HIPAA and Notification Requirements Resulting From a Breach

Posted in Ethics & Compliance

Guest blogger: Anthony Palazzo is general counsel for a global private holding company in Durham, N.C. He is also a member of ACC New Jersey.

As an in-house counsel, I am used to random questions. A recent one was: What do I do with my garbage? It did not deal with toxic, hazardous waste or old financial records. It concerned third party personal health records maintained on a computer. Oh boy.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) imposes standards regarding the privacy and security of protected health information (PHI) that is transmitted or maintained in electronic, written or oral form (not including employment records held by an employer). This information relates to an individual’s past, present or future physical or mental health, an individual’s provision of health care and/or past, present or future payment for the provision of healthcare. Continue Reading

Please Read ASAP: The Four-Letter Phrase Lives on In-house

Posted in Career

Guest blogger: James Benes is Director of Legal Affairs at ACTIVE Network. He is also one of the 10 recipients of the 2015 ACC “Top 10 30-Somethings” awards, which were presented at the ACC Corporate Counsel University® (CCU) in Dallas, Texas in May 2015. He can be reached at mjbenes@yahoo.com.

If you made it through law school and are moving up in your career, I did not want to give you the obvious sentiments, such as “be practical,” “consider the business side,” “contribute to the bottom-line,” “know the decision-makers,” “learn the commercial lingo,” etc…I hope such insights gloss over you and instead, you are looking for a deeper nuance. Well, with that in mind, I will share my thoughts on our old friend, the four-letter acronym ASAP.

Hearing “as soon as possible” is like scratching fingernails on a chalkboard for me. When I first started practicing law, it was at a prominent, large law firm with many partners and tons of clients with dozens of overlapping deadlines, all demanding the same level of care and attention as the other. Continue Reading

In-house Job Things to Think About

Posted in Career

Guest bloggers: Kathryn Hartrick is vice president and general counsel at Robertson Lowstuter. Ted Banks is partner at Scharf Banks Marmor LLC and former chief counsel, global compliance at Kraft Foods.

You have just received a job offer for a great in-house position. You are an experienced law firm lawyer and you may be figuring that this is going to be easy. You know the law. You know how to write briefs. You are great in court. Your clients love you.

Not so fast. Lots of former law firm lawyers, even litigators, have done a fabulous job as in-house lawyers, but there are some differences. Trying to replicate everything you did at your law firm when you go in-house may be a recipe for disaster. Continue Reading

The Time to Start is Now: Imbue Compliance to Guard Your Organization

Posted in Ethics & Compliance, Risk Management & Assessment

Guest blogger: James Merklinger is vice president and chief legal officer at ACC. He represents ACC on all global legal issues and advises the organization on meeting the needs of the in-house counsel community.

The complexity of compliance and its impact has skyrocketed throughout recent years as businesses across the globe continue to expand their operations and footprint. Roughly 96 percent of chief legal officers (CLO) and general counsel who responded to the ACC CLO 2015 Survey noted ethics and compliance as an important issue for the year ahead. In fact, compliance was the top practice area for hiring over the past year, especially for new positions created in Latin America (33 percent) and the Asia Pacific region (30 percent). Continue Reading

The Biggest Compliance Mistake Lawyers Make

Posted in Ethics & Compliance

Guest bloggers: Eric F. Hinton is chief ethics and compliance officer at 7-Eleven, Inc. and Ted Banks is partner at Scharf Banks Marmor LLC.

Being a lawyer is fun. You get to do a lot of different things, and notwithstanding the lawyer jokes, it is a position of power and respect. Sometimes, lawyers are trapped by abstract concepts and training. This approach often shows up in preparing compliance programs, where the results can be disastrous.

In law school, we are trained to spot and analyze every issue, as well as anticipate every argument that the “other side” might present. We spend hours making sure every citation is not only correct, but follows an arcane and seemingly arbitrary format. This training is great for writing legal briefs. Does it help us deal with the real world of compliance though? Continue Reading