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In-house Access

Insight & Commentary for In-House Counsel Worldwide

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

Five Years? Seems Like Just Yesterday…

Posted in Inside Health Law

Guest blogger: Laura Woods is vice president of legal affairs at Care Centers Management Consulting, Inc. She is also co-vice chair of the ACC Health Law Committee. She can be reached at lwoods@carecenters.net.

Did you celebrate a birthday on March 23? If so, you share your special day with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). It is five years old! I know, right? If it were a kid, we would be looking to register him or her for kindergarten. Even as it continues to maintain a sharp divide among many Americans, there is still “newness” about the PPACA that makes it difficult to comprehend its age. Continue Reading

Using Non-compete Provisions to Avoid Employee Flight Risks

Posted in Contracts & Negotiations

Guest blogger: Anthony Palazzo is general counsel for a private holding in Durham, N.C. Palazzo is also a member of ACC Research Triangle Area.

Few situations are more disturbing to a general counsel (GC) than when a senior executive resigns or is terminated. In today’s volatile capital market, it is apparent that people simply do not stay with a particular job as they did in the past.

As GC, you have a standard confidentiality and nondisclosure agreement (NDA). An NDA contains a covenant not-to-compete provision, commonly referred to as a “non-compete,” which prevents the employee from working with any company that conducts similar business. However, have you adequately protected your company? Continue Reading

New to Health Law In-house? Some Tips from the Trenches

Posted in Career, Inside Health Law

Guest blogger: Jane A. Orenstein is Director of Legal, Regulatory and Compliance Services at Delta Dental of Washington. She is also co-secretary of the ACC Health Law Committee. She can be reached at jorenstein@DeltaDentalWA.com.

In April 2013, in my 33rd year of legal practice, I received a very welcome job offer from a healthcare company. I was thrilled, but also terrified. While I have considerable experience both in-house and as a government lawyer, none of that experience came from working in the healthcare industry. Why, you might ask, would a healthcare company hire a lawyer with no healthcare industry experience? The pitch I made to my employer was that my experience as a corporate adviser, transactional attorney and government lawyer in a highly regulated industry would be applicable to the duties I would be performing at the dental benefits company. Continue Reading