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Author Archives: john.o.cunningham

Value proposition

Cutting-edge law departments are sharpening their performance and boosting shareholder value by focusing on managerial skills. These days, being better lawyers is only part of the equation.

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‘It’s open season’

Growing numbers of in-house lawyers have reason to fret they might find themselves in the crosshairs of a criminal or civil fraud case. Over this past year, 11 general counsel (a record number) have been charged with civil or criminal fraud by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Employers getting clocked with hourly wage suits

Once considered a minor nuisance, wage and hour lawsuits are now one of the biggest concerns facing in-house counsel. Not only have they outpaced all other workplace actions since 2005, multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements are being regularly rung up as a result of class action certifications.

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Made in China

The China boom is in full swing, and sooner or later your company will be doing business in China. If you aren’t there now, one of your competitors probably is. The explosive growth means in-house lawyers have to get up to speed now on the intricacies of doing business in China – from bridging the cultural divide to knowing the key differences between U.S. and Chinese laws and regulations.

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Taking Charge

At a time when company lawyers are under enormous pressure to hold the line on legal bills, both inside and outside lawyers are feeling intense heat from management to deliver better, more efficient service to corporate clients. But a number of in-house legal departments and their outside counsel are deploying tools to address these issues and some inroads are being made.

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‘Culture of waiver’ under attack

The perception that a “culture of waiver” has permeated the ranks of federal prosecutors has triggered a full-scale push back, prompting proposed federal legislation that would block the Department of Justice from routinely seeking materials protected by attorney-client privilege or work product doctrines.

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Dealing with boardroom dissent

In-House went to a panel of experts in corporate governance, board room counseling and investigations to get their thoughts on lessons learned from the H-P scandal, and how to steer clear of ethical, legal and political traps associated with executive dissent.

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