In-House Texas

Nestor Ho, in-house general counsel, Silicon Laboratories Inc, Austin, Texas.

GCs Need to Be 'Solution Providers,' Not Just Lawyers

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Nestor Ho, vice president and general counsel for Silicon Labs, an Austin-based silicon, software and solutions provider, wants to do more than just fill the traditional role of a lawyer for his company.

Supreme Court of Texas Narrows Interpretation 
of Property Damage

By David Walton and 
Brandan Montminy |

Eight years later, in U.S. Metals Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Group Inc., the court addressed a policyholder's effort to significantly expand CGL policies to cover construction and product defects.

Is Your Head in the Cloud? How to Talk Techy to Your IT Staff

By Julie Machal-fulks |

One of the most difficult issues lawyers face when dealing with technology is that technology professionals often use a different kind of language. The inability to communicate effectively with the IT staff can cause misunderstandings that can be costly.

Shoring Up Your Outsourcing

By David W. Black |

Major firms propose their services can save big bucks, but whether they can depends on hitting several factors straight on.

Nestor Ho, in-house general counsel, Silicon Laboratories Inc, Austin, Texas.

Q&A with General Counsel for Silicon Labs, Nestor Ho

Texas Lawyer spoke with Nestor Ho, vice president and general counsel of Silicon Labs in Austin, and asked him about best practices when dealing with outside counsel.

Pssst: What Case Management Software Do You Use?

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Case management software 
can provide a corporate legal department a convenient and efficient way to manage case-related information ranging from docketing to outside counsel.

Michael P. Maslanka

Take Caution in 'Liking' Social Media

By Michael P. Maslanka |

Teaching "Professional Responsibility" at UNT Dallas College of Law makes a person more sensitive to the marriage of technology, social media and legal ethics.

Prepare for Significant Changes in Employment Law

By Jackie Ford |

The year 2016 will bring a new president of the United States. As human resources departments and employment lawyers are realizing, this year will also see changes to fundamental regulations governing the workplace.

Kate Cassidy - the associate counsel for the Texas Rangers Baseball Club - at the clubs ballpark in Arlington TX.

Lone Texas Ranger: How a Young Fan Grew Up to Become the Team's Sole Lawyer

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Kate Cassidy's office in Arlington overlooks home plate at Globe Life Park, home of the Texas Rangers, and she rubs shoulders with the likes of Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, a famed professional baseball catcher, and Michael Young, an equally famous infielder, who now both work in the Rangers' front office.

The New Regulation 
of Political Speech

By Joseph Nixon |

If you believe the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives you the right to free speech, think again. In Texas, of all places, political speech comes with a cost: registration and/or paying a fee to the state for the privilege of speaking.

Michael P. Maslanka, Assistant Professor of Law, UNT Dallas College of Law.

Tao Trial Lessons: Less is Often More

By Michael P. Masklanka |

The Tao is an ancient text. It brims with wisdom. Here are some insights applied to litigation and trial.

Oil Plunge Puts Employment Lawyers to Work

By Mary Alice Robbins |

With the price of oil plunging from more than $100 a barrel to less than $30, energy companies are struggling with a myriad of labor and employment challenges, including some that have forced them into the courts.

Kate Cassidy - the associate counsel for the Texas Rangers Baseball Club - at the clubs ballpark in Arlington TX.

Q&A with Texas Rangers' Associate Counsel

Texas Lawyer spoke with Kate Cassidy, associate counsel for Texas Rangers Baseball in Arlington, and asked her about best practices when dealing with outside counsel.

Overtime Pay Front and Center

By Alan Bush |

Some say that 2016 is the "Year of 
the FLSA"—the Fair Labor Standards Act. That sounds about right. Overtime pay will be front and center on corporate counsel's list of HR priorities.

Stephanie Zapata Moore is the VP and GC at Luminant in Dallas TX.

GC Stephanie Zapata Moore Shines as Luminant’s Legal Leader

By Anthony C. Williams |

Long before Stephanie Zapata Moore was vice president and general counsel at Luminant, the Dallas-based competitive power generator, she said her mother told her nine-year-old self she was so argumentative she should be a lawyer.

Q&A with GC at Luminant—Best Practices: Experience, Respect and Knowledge

By Anthony C. Williams |

Texas Lawyer spoke with Stephanie Zapata Moore, vice president and general counsel at Dallas-based Luminant, and asked her questions about best practices when dealing with outside counsel. Here are her answers, edited for style and length.

Restructuring Options for Still-Liquid Energy Companies

By Dan Prieto, Tom Howley and Basheer Ghorayeb |

With prices projected to remain low into 2017, an energy company with too much leverage—but with significant cash and other liquidity—may mistakenly delay addressing its balance sheet issues, believing that a restructuring can be postponed until its liquidity is nearly depleted.

The Days of Spilling Trade Secrets in Litigation Could Be Numbered

By Elisaveta (Leiza) Dolghih and Israel R. Silvas |

The court's ruling will have an effect on the strategic decisions of whether a trade secrets misappropriation case is worth pursuing; how a protective order should be structured in terms of access to trade secret information produced during the lawsuit; how discovery is structured and, most importantly, which attorneys and experts should be engaged to prosecute and defend such claims.

5 Mindsets For Better Lawyer Health

By Michael P. Maslanka |

Here is a distressing box score: 20 percent of lawyers combat depression; 44 percent of lawyers grapple with alcohol/substance abuse; and 19 percent fight off anxiety.

New Federal Law Cracks Down on Child and Forced Labor

According to a 2013 estimate by the International Labour Organization, 168 million underage children still work around the world, often in harsh conditions. A trade law signed by President Obama last week could help stomp out this exploitation.

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.