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In-house Access

Insight & Commentary for In-House Counsel Worldwide

Obergefell Decision Impact on Employers

Posted in Inside Health Law

Guest blogger: K. Royal is VP, AGC Privacy and Compliance at CellTrust Corporation. She is also the co-secretary of the ACC Health Law Committee. She can be reached at k.royal@celltrust.com.

Recently, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled that it is unconstitutional for states to prohibit or not recognize same-sex marriages in Obergefell v. Hodges. What does this mean for employee benefit programs? If employers are not currently offering health benefits to same-sex spouses, they will likely have to change their policies. Based on the ruling, same-sex spouses are now entitled to the same benefits offered to all opposite-sex married couples, including health benefits, rights of survivorship and workers compensation benefits. Continue Reading

Growing Diversity: Bridging the Gap Between Opportunity and Success

Posted in Pro Bono & Diversity

Guest blogger: Khurram Nasir Gore is General Counsel and Chief Strategy Officer at Personal BlackBox Company, a public benefit corporation. He can be reached at Khurram.Gore@pbb.me. For more details on ACC’s research and benchmarking capabilities, contact research@acc.com.

Recently, good fortune found me seated at a table of influential general counsel and law firm partners talking about the business and legal issues most important to them. The central topic of discussion – diversity and how to bridge the gap between diversity initiatives and successful outcomes for both law firms and in-house law departments. The diversity questions before us were not solved at this roundtable discussion, but the challenges were acknowledged and, in particular, the yin-yang pull of profit and value was appropriately highlighted. Continue Reading

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