In-House Texas

A ship floats amongst a sea of spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster.

Navigating the Post-Gulf Oil Spill Insurance and Indemnity Landscape

By Stephany Olsen-LeGrand |

Key decisions in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill litigation have highlighted the evolving legal landscape in assessing liability and financial responsibility in a major accident.

Opportunities for Texas Lawyers in an Uncertain Texas Economy

By Bill McDonald |

While clients sort out the effects of current commodity prices, lawyers must consider how the drop in oil prices will affect demand for legal services across the state in 2015 and 2016.

pipeline

New Rules Concerning Pipeline Permit Applications

By Mark A. Mathews and Stephanie N. Murphy |

Although the new rules have a limited impact on the applicable Texas law regarding eminent domain, they do require parties to provide the RRC with more specific information in order for an applicant to obtain a pipeline permit.

10 Tips for Crafting a Document Retention Policy

By Michael Murphy |

Breakdowns in document retention put companies at incredible risk for penalties and sanctions from regulatory agencies and courts in litigation. It is important for every company to develop a policy that curbs that risk.

Is It Trademark Bullying or Savvy Brand Protection?

In some instances companies have to get aggressive to protect their brands, even if such moves prove unpopular. The resulting fallout is just a cost of doing business.

Keeping Up With the EEOC in 2015

By Rebekah Mintzer |
clipboard

Keeping the Best and Brightest: President Obama's Plan to Retain Skilled Workers

By Gordon Quan |

While many have focused on the executive orders that address undocumented foreign nationals, the president also expressed a desire to revise immigration procedures for foreign skilled workers and professionals.

GC Best Practices: Responsiveness and Listening Skills

By Anne Belli Perez |
magnifying glass

What to Know About the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate

By Jason Mills |

As part of the effort to combat and prevent fraud involving these nonimmigrant visas, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service utilizes a special investigative unit, which, among other things, performs site visits at petitioning employers' places of business.

money pile

Avoiding Fines and Overcoming Hurdles

By Irina Plumlee and Elvia Munoz |

With employment eligibility audits of form I-9 employment eligibility verification records on the rise, these lax attitudes may turn costly.

GC Punch List in Litigating Noncompetes

By Mike Maslanka |

A few months ago we gave tips on drafting non-competes. This month, we look at litigating them. When that decision needs to be made, all eyes turn to the GC. Here is a GC punch list.

quote

Can You Turn a Phrase? Know Its Consequences

By Mike Maslanka |

We live in a phrase driven world. Often using a phrase as if on automatic pilot, not understanding the hidden or inadvertent meanings behind the phrase.

calculator

How to Address a Twist on the Computation of Accrued Post-Offer Costs

By Darin Klemchuk and James Creedon |

What can practitioners do to address this issue in copyright cases?

Web Copyright Infringement: An Emerging Crime

By Jonathan Bick |
Cherry Hearn, General Counsel of Which Wich Superior Sandwiches Inc.

Going the Distance: GC Takes the Long Path Home

By Anne Belli Perez |

It's fitting that Cherry Hearn arrived at such an unorthodox company in such an unorthodox way.

chess

Minimize Costs in Patent Cases by Playing Offense Early

By Chris P. Perque |

To minimize the total spend in patent cases is to take the offense early to encourage the patent holder to dismiss the suit or settle as early as possible on defense-favorable terms.

party

Steps to Company Party? Eat, Drink and Be Wary

By A. Martin Wickliff Jr. |

These gatherings can invite unwanted sexual advances and potentially unlawful conduct.

Breaking Up With An Employee? These Tips for Contract Provisions Should Make It Less Complicated

By Cheri Thomas and Laurence Stuart |

To make break-ups more straightforward and slightly less painful, employers should carefully review all provisions of their severance agreements with the following guidance in mind.

For GCs, Law Department Role Is Changing

By Sue Reisinger |

At least eight GCs attending the recent 2014 Legal Week Corporate Counsel Forum were asked about the greatest challenges facing in-house legal departments, and how the role of the department is changing.

Blake Brodersen, general counsel, Molecular Rebar Design, Austin, Texas

New Beginnings: GC Hits the Ground Running in Young Company

By Jeanne Graham |

Nine months ago, Blake Brodersen left Scott & White Health Plan in Temple, where he had been assistant general counsel for more than 12 years, to become general counsel of Molecular Rebar Design, a young Austin company working with carbon molecules.

6 Tips for Infusing Noncompetes with New Life

By Michael P. Maslanka and William E. Hammel |

Many noncompetes are difficult to understand, confuse employees rather than enlighten them and read as if they were written in the 1970s.

Eli Lilly: Canada Patent Ruling Violates NAFTA

By Lisa Shuchman |

FCPA Real World Practices: Right-to-Audit Contract Clauses

By WES LOEGERING and EVAN SINGER Wes Loegering and Evan Singer |

The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission have encouraged companies to include FCPA audit rights as part of a robust compliance program. GCs tasked with drafting a right-to-audit clause should consider the following.

Best Practices: Experience, Trust and Success

By Jeanne Graham |

Pay Attention to Contract Managers

By Prashant Dubey |
Julie Lennon is general counsel for Gaedeke Energy in Dallas

Positive Energy

By Jeanne Graham |

Although working in-house was Julie Lennon's original plan when she went to law school, it wasn't until after almost 20 years in private practice that she finally made the move in-house.

Complying With Crowdfunding: Texas Provides Opportunity for Smaller Investors to Get in the Game

By Kevin Vela |

Rather than wait for the SEC to establish the proposed rules for implementation at the federal level, twelve states have gone ahead and adopted their own intrastate crowdfunding rules, and Texas is lined up to be number thirteen.

Best Practices: Excellence Expected

By Jeanne Graham |

Who Topped the List of Best-Paid GCs in Texas?

The average compensation for general counsel at large Texas companies declined by 8.1 percent in 2013 compared to 2012 but still is more than double the average profits per partner at the 25 highest-grossing firms.

5 Ideas to Help GCs Understand What Makes a Business Work

By Michael P. Maslanka |

General Counsel are Lawyers "Plus." Knowing the law is only part of the job. The rest is in understanding the all too human dynamics that make a company go tick-tock.

clock

Court's Advice on Evidence Preservation Stops Short of Clear Guidance

By Kent Sullivan |

The court's opinion acknowledges that it has left "gap-filling" to the lower courts—perhaps meaning years of ongoing disputes in the lower courts to provide needed clarity.

Karen R. Miniex, vice president and general counsel, Houston Housing Authority

Helping Houston: GC's Chosen Career Path Continues to Impact Many

By Jeanne Graham |

During the 2.5 years that Miniex has been GC, she has drafted the HHA's first whistleblower policy and an addendum to the agency's lease agreements which prohibits smoking in HHA properties—both adopted by the agency's Board of Commissioners—and streamlined the residential eviction process from 12 to 3 months.

money

When Does a Defendant Prevail Under a Prevailing Party Provision?

By Robert L. Paddock and Megan H. Schmid |

Depending upon the importance and the magnitude of the amounts at stake, it may be worth spending more time to draft a prevailing party provision that specifically sets forth the intentions of the parties.

padlock

Keys to Invoking Privilege: What Works and What Doesn't

By Michael P. Maslanka |

Issues of attorney-client privilege pervade a general counsel's life. Let's look at some new cases—some with good news and some with not so good news.

hardhat

Defining 'Plaintiff' in Third-Party Claims Against Design Professionals

By Matthew J. Mussalli |

The Texas Supreme Court recently ruled how to construe the term "plaintiff" in the context of claims against design professionals and under what circumstances a Certificate of Merit is required.

DOJ's Latest Alternative to Prosecution

By Sue Reisinger |

What is the U.S. Department of Justice's next move to avoid prosecuting a corporation and its leaders? This time it's the restitution and remediation agreement.