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In-house Access

Insight & Commentary for In-House Counsel Worldwide

A Man Among In-house Counsel

Posted in Annual Meeting 2014
Guest Blogger: Michael Schmidt is vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor & Employment Department, and office managing partner, vice chair, of the New York Midtown office, where he is resident. For more than two decades, Mike has concentrated his practice on representing companies and management in all facets of employment law, as well as day-to-day counseling and in-house training on issues from hiring to firing, and other questions unique to his client’s industries and business.

I will be attending the 2014 ACC Annual Meeting in New Orleans from October 28th through October 31st, as my firm is again proud to be a sponsor of ACC’s annual conference. For those interested, you can follow the events and panels at @ACCinhouse, and tweet using #ACCAM14. For those willing and able to register for the annual meeting (there’s still time), here is a link to do so. Continue Reading

In-house Lawyers Volunteer at Advance Planning Clinic at St. Barnabas Senior Services

Posted in In-House Practice, Leadership, Pro Bono

On Friday, September 19, 2014, more than thirty lawyers and law students volunteered their time at a clinic to help draft advance healthcare directive forms and statutory wills for senior citizens at St. Barnabas Senior Services (SBSS). The clinic was hosted by the ACC Health Law Committee, ACC Southern California Chapter (ACC-SoCal), Bet Tzedek Legal Services and Squire Patton Boggs.

After training from experts at Bet Tzedek Legal Services, the lawyers and law students devoted the rest of the afternoon grouping into teams of two or three and meeting with clients at tables set up throughout SBSS. Continue Reading

Ready to Run a Process

Posted in Client-Firm Value, In-House Practice

Guest Blogger: Dave Sampsell has been a lawyer for 20 years and is general counsel of Digi International Inc. (NASDAQ:  DGII). He is also founder and principal of BanyanRFP.com.

It’s been strongly suggested the legal department’s costs for outside counsel need to be contained. Perhaps you’ve been told the price for professional services in the last decade has risen 20 percent while the cost of outside counsel has risen 75 percent. Perhaps more likely, the finance department just can’t believe the bills they are asked to process, reminding you and your colleagues that “legal” is a cost center.

When embracing a competitive counsel selection process for your next big engagement, here are some key things in-house counsel should keep in mind: Continue Reading

The Need for a Personal General Counsel

Posted in In-House Practice, Leadership

Guest Blogger: Anthony Palazzo is in-house litigation counsel for a private company in Durham, N.C. Palazzo is also a member of the ACC Research Triangle Area Chapter.

Governor Christie appointed his long-time friend and legal counsel David Samson as chairman of the Port Authority. David Samson is also a Partner at Wolff & Samson—legal counsel to the Rockefeller Group, which is seeking special zoning treatment on Port Authority property located in Hoboken.

Initially, the George Washington Bridge debacle didn’t become real news until the mayor of Hoboken mentioned that one of Gov. Christie’s top aides had made very direct comments on what needed to be done regarding that special Hoboken zoning issue.

At that point started all the subpoenas, Fifth Amendment declarations, cross- subpoenas, and demands for production of documents from everyone who could spell Trenton. And all the while, our governor, at first glib, and then enraged, began the methodical dismemberment of his closest staff members.

Now, what about his longtime attorney and confidant David Samson? Where was he while this staff was rearranging the car lanes on the GW Bridge? Apparently, David Samson was silent and nowhere to be found by anyone, including the governor.

The basic definition of a general counsel is the head of the law department of a company. The reality is that the function of a general counsel is to protect his/her employer while advancing the employer’s goals. Loyalty to the employer is paramount to everything except God, legal ethics requirements and, sometimes, legal impediments. Continue Reading