In-House Texas

Derek Willis, GC for Volusion, in Austin, TX.

Derek Willis, General Counsel for Volusion Inc. Made The Right Move

By Mary Alice Robbins |

After 17 years as a corporate and securities attorney, Derek Willis suddenly found himself responsible for managing a contentious piece of litigation as the secretary and general counsel for Volusion Inc., an Austin-based software company.

Q&A With Volusion Inc. Derek Willis on Best Practices: Expertise, Efficiency and Experience

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Texas Lawyer spoke with Derek Willis, secretary and general counsel for Volusion Inc., an Austin-based software company, and asked him questions about best practices when dealing with outside counsel. Here are his answers, edited for style and length.

Tips for Avoiding Pitfalls in I-9 Compliance

By Ruth M. Willars |

This precarious position presents liability for employers who view the completion of I-9s as a perfunctory part of the new hire process, or who view a notice of inspection as benign. Employers should take the following steps to proactively address I-9 compliance.

Reauthorization of the EB-5 Regional Center Program: a Boon for Foreign Investors and the National Economy

By Karen-Lee Pollak |

From the investor perspective, going the EB-5 investment visa route through a regional center avoids the usual requirement of having family connections, securing a job or running an actively traded business, which makes it an attractive option for retirees or students.

Corporate Restructure: What Happens to H-1B Employees Still in Process for a Green Card?

By Karen Chong |

An employer can help protect a worker's immigration case and safeguard workforce stability by filing strategically and gathering key documentation of the restructure.

There is No Finish Line, Be Mindful in Your Practice, Life

By Michael P. Maslanka |

The challenge: GCs are busy, gasping for time for reflection on the meaning of being a lawyer. The solution: pausing to reflect on a little known but powerful commencement speech. So, here, courtesy of Vince Foster, is some oxygen.

HSBC Ruling Could Bring Big Changes to Monitorships

In a ruling with major implications for companies with corporate monitors, a judge has ordered HSBC Bank to make public a monitor’s report on its efforts to comply with anti-money laundering laws.

Patent Disputes Over Biologics: Will Anyone Come To The Dance?

By Tracey Davies, Michael Valek, Andrew Lin and Theo Kwong |

More fundamentally, the patent litigation framework implemented by the BPCIA has, so far, served to discourage early patent challenges.

Special Report: Practice Focus—Patent Law

This year companies were plagued with problems both very old and relatively new as they tried to minimize legal and compliance risks. Evergreen problems such as corporate corruption were front and center at certain companies.

The Biggest Risks for Companies in 2016

By Rebekah Mintzer |

This year companies were plagued with problems both very old and relatively new as they tried to minimize legal and compliance risks. Evergreen problems such as corporate corruption were front and center at certain companies.

Best Practices: Be Relational, Have Wisdom

By Anthony C. Williams |

Texas Lawyer spoke with Scarlett May, senior vice president, GC and secretary at Brinker International Inc., the Dallas-based company that owns the Chili's and Maggiano's Little Italy restaurant chains, and asked her questions about best practices when dealing with outside counsel. Here are her answers, edited for style and length.

Scarlett May - general council for Brinker International - at one of their restaurants.

General Counsel of Brinker International Embraces Her New Role and New City

By Anthony C. Williams |

Not only did Scarlett May stand out for her love of reading and government affairs as a child, she knew she wanted to be a lawyer early on after witnessing her little brother being treated differently for standing out on his own in their small Tennessee hometown.

Houston HERO Defeat Doesn't Mean End of Discrimination Protections for LGBT

By Jackie Ford |

While the defeat of HERO eliminates one set of local rules related to employment of LGBT workers, federal statutes are increasingly being interpreted to provide similar benefits.

Employers Should Brace for Salary Level Test Changes

By Kimberly S. Moore |

Rather than focusing on predictions, employers should proceed with proper preparation and planning.

These Cases Show Discrimination Law Still Evolving

By Vianei Lopez Braun |

Employers often fail to realize that routine and innocuous personnel actions—such as letting go a bad employee tor a temp, or negotiating salary with a new hire—can lead to serious discrimination claims.

Major Accident Response: Managing the First 96 Hours

By Mark L. Farley |

Crisis management of a major accident occurs at two levels within an organization: the tactical—the site at which the incident occurred— and the strategic—the corporate organization. The role of a lawyer advising a crisis management team spans these levels with two primary responsibilities.

Lynn Garcia, GC, Texas Forensic Science Commission.

GC of Forensic Science Commission Focuses on Collaboration

By Angela Morris |

Lynn Robitaille Garcia is leading the charge for Texas to be at the forefront of a complicated controversy over how crime labs analyze and interpret DNA samples that include genetic material of multiple people.

Lynn Garcia, GC, Texas Forensic Science Commission.

Best Practices: Listen, Collaborate

By Angela Morris |

Lynn Robitaille Garcia, general counsel of the Texas Forensic Science Commission, had a past life in big law helping corporate clients involved in securities and white-collar cases.

Patent Litigation Will Never Be the Same Again

By Lisa Shuchman |

Patent litigation isn't what it used to be. Monumental changes to U.S. patent law have changed the rules of the litigation game.

The 'Timely Disclosure' Requirements of Texas' Responsible Third-Party Statute

By Benny Agosto, Jr. and Eric K. Gerard |

The law of proportionate responsibility in Texas allows a defendant in certain actions to identify other persons not party to the lawsuit as responsible for some or all of the plaintiff's injuries, thereby reducing the defendant's own share of liability.

5 Tips to Prevent IP Missteps When Hiring

Hiring can be painstaking, particularly when searching for employees with technical expertise.

David T. Schubauer

Immigrant Investors Program Up for Renewal

By BY Rebekah Mintzer |

Best Practices: Be Responsive and Efficient With Resources

By Anthony C. Williams |

Freelance reporter Anthony C. Williams emailed Nadalo some questions about best practices. Below are his answers edited for length and style.

Employment Lawyers: Bask in Trio of Fifth Circuit's Summer Cases

By Michael P. Maslanka |

These pro-employee cases should prove to lift the spirits of employment lawyers.

Understanding the Rules for Estate Taxes and Non-Citizens

By Olivia Carbajal de Garcia |

Legal and illegal immigrants make up a growing portion of the population of this country and as such it is important to be familiar with the general rules that may impact the estate planning approach when non-U.S. citizens are involved.

Jeff Nadalo

Buc-ee's GC Jeff Nadalo: A Busy Beaver

By Anthony C. Williams |

Many Texans who tire of the weekday hustle and bustle and ache to get away from the city might find themselves at one of the famed Buc-ee's fuel centers while on their way to fish or enjoy any other leisure activity. But for Buc-ee's general counsel Jeff Nadalo, he relaxes by volunteering as a sheriff's deputy. Seriously.

How The 'Obergefell' Decision Affects Texas Same-Sex Couples and Everyone Who Practices Law

By J. Daryl Hinze |

Essentially, after Obergefell, once the legal impediment to recognition was lifted on same-sex couples based on its holding, thousands of people became instantaneously married the moment the opinion was issued.

What to Tell a Client Who Wants to Sell His Company

By James D. Shields |

How does the lawyer advise him? What should he be concerned about and how long will this process take?

Michael Donley

GC for UT Tyler Embraces Learning and the Law

By Anthony C. Williams |

In a two-room schoolhouse in Bassett, Nebraska, a young Michael Donley was able to learn at his own pace as he started his education. It is an experience he remembers fondly, and part of the reason he went on to earn three college degrees and is now working in education.

Michael Donley

Best Practices: Have a Plan and Have Business Sense

By Anthony C. Williams |

Michael Donley is university counsel at the University of Texas at Tyler. Freelance reporter Anthony C. Williams emailed Donley some questions about best practices. Below are his answers edited for length and style.

Airline Seats Antitrust Case Heads for Takeoff

By Sue Reisinger |

More than 75 class action lawsuits have been filed across the country so far against the four major airlines that are the targets of an antitrust investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, which is exploring whether the airlines kept ticket prices high by limiting the number of available seats.

Avoid Costly Litigation by Staying Up to Date on Slurs

By Alan Bush and Lee Winkelman |

Falling behind the times in vernacular could cost a company a six-figure discrimination lawsuit—along with all the disruption of defending against it. Let's get up to speed.

3 Essentials for Successfully Managing Business Litigation

By Doug Brothers |

While litigation often follows a predictable and routine pattern, it is generally an inefficient way to resolve a business dispute. The answer lies in a plan that is laser-focused on the business solution rather than the litigation process.