Survey: Half of Legal Departments Work Without a Strategic Plan

Nearly half of corporate Legal Departments are working without a formal plan, according to Xakia’s Legal Operations Health Check.

In an article on the company’s website, Xakia said the survey polled in-house lawyers and legal operations personnel on five continents; it provides insights on the state of strategic planning within legal operations, providing data on alignment, metrics and more.

When accounting for size of the legal department, Xakia says, it’s clear that it’s smaller teams that are winging it without a plan:

  • For teams of one to 5, 48 percent have no plan;
  • For teams of 6 to 10, the same holds true – 48 percent have no plan;
  • For teams of 11 to 50, 39 percent have no plan;
  • For team of more than 50, 33 percent have no plan.

Read the article.




Register for ACC Xchange 2019 Mid-Year Meeting for Legal Executives

ACCThe Association of Corporate Counsel is accepting registrations for Xchange 2019, The Mid-Year Meeting for Advancing Legal Executives.

General Counsel News readers who register by Jan. 30 will receive a $100 discount when using the code GCNEWS19.

The event is scheduled for April 28-30, 2019, at the Hotel Minneapolis in Minneapolis, MN.

ACC has arranged for four curricula addresses in the areas of contracts, leadership, legal operations, and litigation.

More information may be found here:

Register for the event.




Goldman’s $500 Million Lawyer Has Called It Quits

Greg Palm is retiring as Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s co-general counsel, the company’s CEO wrote in a memo to staff Wednesday, according to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg’s Sridhar Natarajan and Tom Metcalf describe where Palm’s income ranks among corporate lawyers in the United States:

“For his role at the forefront of Goldman Sachs’s toughest battles, Palm has been rewarded generously by his employer. He’s pulled in about $500 million, including about $180 million worth of Goldman shares, as well as dividends, distributions from firm-managed funds and proceeds from stock sales, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That ranks him among America’s wealthiest corporate lawyers and the richest people working within any global investment bank, underlining his persistent importance to Goldman over 26 years.”

Read the Bloomberg article.




Download: Expert Analysis on Emerging Board Issues for 2019

National Association of Corporate DirectorsThe National Association of Corporate Directors has published an article discussing current perspectives on what boards can expect in the new year.

The article can be downloaded from the NACD site at no charge.

“The business landscape is in constant flux, multifaceted, and difficult to track,” the NACD says on its website. “That’s why we’ve partnered with a brain trust of governance experts to produce the 2019 Governance Outlook: Projections on Emerging Board Matters.”

The report offers comprehensive guidance that will inform governance decisions and strategic planning in 2019. NACD governance partners provide an overview of key governance trends, accompanying outlook, implications of the shifting landscape, and questions for boards to consider, as well as in-depth coverage of the following topics:

  • NACD discusses how directors can understand, anticipate, and overcome detrimental disruptive risk and keep pace with opportunities that create long-term value.
  • Baker Tilly provides a regulatory update on international trade and tariffs, tax reform, cybersecurity, and other key risks boards need to be prepared for.
  • Ceres emphasizes the importance of recognizing climate change as a critical risk for companies.
  • Deloitte provides recommendations on how directors can leverage insights when establishing practices for M&A proposal review, and stresses the importance of keeping directors up-to-date on regulatory changes.
  • Spencer Stuart identifies trends in board composition and how retirement, diversity, and age are driving factors in the space.

Download the article.




To Be a Good In-House Counsel, Be Prepared to Break The Law, Maybe

As an in-house counsel — the individual tasked with mitigating risk for your employer — sometimes you have to make a decision much hastier than you might normally be comfortable with doing so, writes Stephen R. Williams in a column for Above the Law.

Williams, who works in-house with a multi-facility hospital network, tells about a crisis that dropped into his lap late on the Friday before the week of Christmas. It involved a report from an employee who said one of their coworkers made what was perceived to be a comment reflecting a suicidal thought.

His column tells how he dealt with the situation, even though the colleagues who usually handle such cases were unavailable because of the holiday season.

Read the article.



How to Find the Best Law Schools For In-House Jobs

Prospective law students who want to become corporate general counsel should look for law schools located in major metropolitan areas with an abundance of corporate headquarters and a plethora of in-house legal externship and internship options, advises the author of “The Corporate Counsel Survival Guide.”

According to U.S. News & World Report, William Kruse also believes that modern corporate lawyers are often expected to negotiate international deals and resolve international disputes, so these attorneys must understand how U.S. law varies from the laws in other nations.

He says transactional attorney jobs are often suitable for recent J.D. recipients, particularly if they had a business career before attending law school. However, Kruse says he would not hire someone straight out of law school as a corporate litigator, writes. U.S. News reporter Ilana Kowarski.

Read the U.S. News article.



Bank Company GC Goes Public About Being Bipolar; Gets Stronger in the Process

Kelly Rentzel had to overcome some big barriers to become general counsel at Dallas-based Texas Capital Bank. Along the way she endured a monthlong stay in a psychiatric ward, the rigors of law school, and a suicide attempt.

In a profile in the Houston Chronicle, reporter Natalie Posgate of The Texas Lawbook, writes:

“To say Rentzel has overcome barriers in her life – and has landed on the other side stronger every time – is an understatement. Recently, she’s overcome a different kind of barrier: talking about her condition publicly.

She landed her job just months after the suicide attempt and became the bank’s first in-house lawyer and then built the legal department from scratch.

Read the Houston Chronicle article.



Top 5 Things Corporate Counsel Want for Free from Law Firms

By Matthew Prinn
RFP Advisory Group

In most request for proposals that deal with the overall client-law firm relationship (as opposed to a matter-specific RFP), you will see questions asking law firms about “value-added” services. By value-added, they mean free.

In the 2018 Buying Legal Council Survey, the responses were particularly interesting to the question, “What are your preferred value-added services being provided from law firms and legal service providers?” Here’s my analysis of the top five answers, and some things for law firms to consider before agreeing to these conditions.
Hotlines or access to experts for quick questions

This is not a surprising one, as corporate counsel always have found value in the ability to get ad-hoc quick advice without running up a bill. It’s a feature that most firms agree to provide, usually a certain number of hours a month, assuming a certain volume of work from the client.

Most firms don’t have a formal process in place, and often are very reactive to this type of request. What typically happens is the firm notes in the RFP response that it’s willing to do this, and if called upon has a partner take the calls and write-off the time.
This offers a perfect opportunity for firms to separate themselves from competitors by proactively creating an innovative, best-in-class hotline program. They can then arm their lawyers with talking points on how to sell this feature to clients. Firms should consider the most efficient way to structure these hotlines, have a clear understanding of which topics they cover (and which are billable) and identify the most cost-efficient way to service the lines. Just writing off the time isn’t a strategic plan.
Seminars and business-level training

This is another easy one for firms to agree to, as most already have a repository of content online or that they distribute via email. The firms that separate themselves in this area are willing to provide more customization.
Corporate counsel prefer when firms offer to come in and present on topics specific to their industry and business. A firm that is willing to offer four in-person programs a year will stand out compared to one that just points the client to their website of more generic content.

These live or webinar trainings can be great cross-selling opportunities for the law firm if you can strategically introduce lawyers to the client in areas beyond your current work. Firms often respond in an RFP with what they “could do,” but many fail to follow up and implement a program unless pushed by the client.

We are seeing more and more RFPs that ask for the law firm’s approach to secondments. Secondments are arrangements in which a firm puts a lawyer “in-house” at the client for anywhere from three months to two years at a significantly reduced rate or for free.

Secondments benefit the client, who gets a dedicated legal resource to develop a deeper knowledge of the company’s business at a bargain price. They also can benefit the firm in leading to better client service and increasing the potential to grow the business with the client.

However, firms need to be careful not to get burned financially. There is no business case to be made for providing a client a “free” lawyer unless you’re certain the short-term financial commitment will result in a positive return in your long-term relationship with the client.

Be careful not to agree to blanket terms in the RFP process, and then be faced with a difficult conversation with a client who thinks it can use a secondment on a senior partner in a complex area of work on any matter. Firms need to ensure they have the flexibility to negotiate secondments on a case-by-case basis with cost dependent on factors such as duration, type of work, and overall fees collected annually.
In short, tread carefully before agreeing to a secondment and be sure it makes business sense for the firm.
Pre-matter planning sessions

The evolution of procurement in the purchase of legal services has driven law firms to provide a project management strategy to clients. Almost every RFP will ask what resources firms have for project management.

Firms must be able to say not just that they have software, but be able to give specific examples and show screenshots of how it’s used. Some firms can even offer non-billable project management staff as a competitive advantage in the bidding process.
Firms should be ready to get involved in the pre-matter planning and partner with the client to best manage the matter. Particularly if working off a fixed fee structure, both the firm and the client should want to keep this value-added piece a priority.
Internal call participation

My understanding of this item is that corporate counsel want firms to be able to join business phone calls or meetings without billing time for the service. It seems fine to agree to this, provided it’s a reasonable amount of time and the expectations are agreed on in advance, including what level of seniority is expected on the calls.
Firms need to be careful not to over-promise and then under-deliver. When negotiating the outside counsel guidelines, firms should be wary of blindly agreeing to such requests and should include language that provides a detailed description of what and whom they would be willing to offer.
Matthew Prinn is a principal with RFP Advisory Group, a consulting company that specializes in the RFP process for corporate counsel and law firms. He can be contacted at mattprinn@



Hanzo Webinar Lineup to Discuss Challenges Collecting Social Media

Social mediaHanzo, a developer of dynamic web archiving technology for compliance and e-discovery professionals, announced a lineup of industry experts presenting in the webinar “How to Win Using Native Format to Capture Social Media Data,” on Dec. 19, 2018.

The event will include a discussion about the importance of social media to business communications and the ensuing challenges it presents for e-discovery and compliance in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The webinar also will share strategic insights and best practices for defensible social media collection and real-world stories from the field.

In a release, the company said social media is a valuable way to communicate with customers, but many heavily regulated financial firms shy away from its use, fearing that regulatory compliance will be too difficult. Organizations can also find social media to be critical in e-discovery because it offers a rare window into people’s daily thoughts and activities, even after those people have become embroiled in litigation.

Recent data privacy and security discussions have impacted the use of APIs for social media collections. In this webinar industry experts from legal to corporate will share their experiences with how organizations use and deal with social media in the course of their business. They’ll discuss the risk and challenges surrounding compliance and eDiscovery collections, and explore what is driving organizations toward superior native-format collections.

Speakers will be:

  • Mark A. Smolik, General Counsel Chief Compliance Officer, DHL Supply Chain Americas
  • Michael Quartararo, Managing Director, eDPM Advisory Services
  • Steve Tanner, Social Media & Online Communities Lead, Relativity
  • Evan Gumz, Senior Account Executive, EDiscovery, Hanzo

How to Win Using Native Format to Capture Social Media Data
Date: Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Time: 1:30 pm ET
Cost: Free

Register for the webinar.



Download: 5 Future Tech Forces & Board Expectations

A new publication by the National Association of Corporate Directors examines the areas of technology that are “fundamentally changing the economic world.”

The article can be downloaded from the NACD’s website at no charge.

The areas discussed in the article include artificial intelligence, blockchain, cybersecurity, hyperconnectivity, and symbiotic systems.

J.T. Kostman, the author of the article and managing director of Applied Artificial Intelligence at Grant Thornton, provides real-world examples that illustrate the capabilities these technologies have enabled, the risks they pose, and why they are considered to be the driving forces of “the fourth industrial revolution.”

Download the article.



The Rise of Analytics: How Legal Technology Finally Got a Seat in the Boardroom

By David Carns
Chief Strategy Officer of Casepoint

The story of legal technology over the past 30 years is by and large a story of tremendous progress. During that period there have been near-continual improvements, enabling significant gains in speed and efficiency, and lowering the headcount in many legal departments. But until recently the impact of these improvements has been felt primarily in the legal department itself. For the most part, legal continued to be perceived as just another department within the corporate structure, and rarely a strategic driver in the organization.

But recent advances in legal technology – in particular artificial intelligence technologies like analytics, predictive modeling and machine learning – are giving legal more prominence within the corporation and are helping make the department’s strategic value more tangible to the C-suite and the board. Let’s explore how these advanced analytic technologies are currently helping corporate legal departments elevate their standing and demonstrate they are at least as valuable as other corporate business units in managing profit and loss and informing strategic business decisions.

Yesterday’s technology creates new efficiencies, but is that enough?

Legal technology made significant improvements from the 1990s through 2010s by leveraging innovations like word processing, hard copy document scanning, electronic time capture, e-billing, and a broad range of e-discovery technologies, including web-based review and technology assisted review (TAR). The result of incorporating these and other innovations has been a much higher level of efficiency in legal departments.

In light of the paper-based alternatives of the 90s and earlier, the new efficiencies were dramatic. Word processing alone meant that fewer people were required to create memos, briefs, complaints, contracts and the like, and the addition of scanning and electronic time capture made possible huge gains in productivity for attorneys and legal staff. Even as technology opened the doors to exponential increases in data volume, e-discovery applications, web-based review and eventually TAR enabled case teams to pore through millions of digital pages with greater speed than it took to read thousands of physical pages just a few years earlier.

These were significant improvements, but for the most part they did not – and still fail to – resonate in the corporate boardroom. Why? Because legal departments remained predominantly reactionary rather than proactive. While these powerful new technologies allowed legal to manage current challenges with greater ease and with fewer employees, they did little to allow GCs to get ahead of future challenges. But that’s begun to change.

Today’s technologies provide unprecedented insight into current, and future, matters

More recent developments in legal technology – incorporating broader innovations like SaaS and cloud-computing, as well as machine learning, predictive modeling, data analysis and data visualization – are finally allowing legal departments to demonstrate proactive and strategic value to the board. The recent embrace of these innovations by general counsels and legal executives are part of a large trend in which the legal department is exerting much tighter control over eDiscovery technology. That’s happening because GCs understand it’s one of their best avenues to controlling costs. More importantly, the trend is providing the GC and other executives with the metrics they need to understand the precise relationships between cost and performance – not just in eDiscovery, but across the litigation lifecycle.

The power of analytics across multiple matters

These new technologies are realizing their fullest potential in multi-matter analytics and data reuse, in which information about data gleaned from one legal matter is leveraged and applied to the data in subsequent matters, and where analytic processes are tightly integrated across the entire litigation workflow. When advanced analytical technology is integrated across multiple legal matters, the legal department can identify key metrics to understand important trends outside the silo of individual matters. This is precisely where legal begins to transcend its traditional status and function in the organization and become a proactive participant in business strategy.

Machine learning, a key component of analytics, is all about continuous improvement. Machine learning algorithms are built to quickly detect patterns in large bodies of data. By repeatedly and iteratively generalizing from very specific examples, these algorithms steadily refine our understanding of the data and, as they are progressively exposed to even larger volumes of comparable data, are able to make increasingly accurate predictions about the kind of information a new body of data is likely to contain.

For instance, legal now has access to tools that can help them make accurate projections about important factors in eDiscovery like data volume, the number of individual documents, the document types, the number of custodians and the number of reviewers a particular matter is likely to involve. The same tools enable us to quickly make facts-based determinations on questions like these: Which outside counsel is making the most efficient and cost-effective use of technology? Which is likely to perform best on a particular kind of matter? Which reviewers were most effective and productive in Matter A? Which reviewers are likely to do the best job at the lowest cost on Matters B and C?

Analytic technology applied to a single matter – say, predictive coding to speed the review process – can be achieve big cost savings even in that comparatively narrow context, but the technology is especially powerful when you use it to leverage information from one litigated matter and apply that knowledge to additional matters.

For example, privileged documents from Matter A are highly likely to be privileged documents in Matter B. Finding those documents the first time around can be expensive and time-consuming – especially if you are relying on keyword searching – but machine learning can make that process many times faster and more accurate when you are leveraging a larger body of information from previous matters.

Similarly, “hot” documents in one matter are often likely to be informative across multiple matters. The sooner we identify such documents in the litigation lifecycle, the earlier we are able to make important decisions about whether to negotiate or proceed to trial, or about legal strategy – and, of course, this has the potential to save lots of money. The same dynamic applies to information about internal investigations: Analytics can help us quickly identify internal code words or project names tagged in previous investigations and predict their relevance to subsequent investigations. We can even use these metrics and processes to inform multiple matters simultaneously in real time. Suggested tagging from one matter can be applied to speed review in another matter being litigated at the same time.

Data-based portfolio management reduces costs across the board

When you consider the application of analytics across multiple matters, the result is something GCs haven’t had before: true portfolio management with a comprehensive view of costs, efficiencies and trends across all matters. You even have the components of high-level SWOT analysis right at your fingertips. As I’ve already suggested, this is the kind of information that earns legal a seat in the boardroom. Advanced analytics enables comprehensive, effective multi-matter management that will lead to reduced legal costs associated with litigation and reduced risk by improving legal outcomes.

Litigation cost forecasting based on multi-matter analytics is now possible and, properly applied, is much more accurate than less sophisticated forecasting methodologies. And the benefits can extend to other functions in the organization. For example, when the legal department successfully deploys analytics to overhaul its portfolio management processes, that deployment can serve as a model for corporate IT deployment in other departments and inform the organization at large about optimal technology strategies.

Does this kind of potential excite you? It should. Even if your organization chooses not to bring an advanced eDiscovery platform in-house, you should be demanding metrics from outside counsel and/or third-party vendors that can help you determine which outside counsel makes the most effective use of technology and which review teams are most cost-effective and achieve the best outcomes. Does your outside counsel take advantage of analytic tools like document classifiers, predictive coding, TAR 2.0 and advanced data modeling? If you don’t know, you should ask, and you should ask to see the data.

Analytics technology is no longer speculative in the legal domain. It is being used to great advantage in forward-looking law departments and firms right now. Technology platforms are being designed and developed specifically to accommodate a more rigorously proactive mindset in the legal department. These platforms not only incorporate advance technologies, but are also built for maximum extensibility and flexibility so they can be easily and rapidly customized and readily integrate new applications. There is little doubt they can efficiently automate the full spectrum of eDiscovery phases, but they are also giving legal departments a more holistic and data-driven view of the entire litigation process and providing the basis for strategic decision-making. That’s certainly good for legal, but it’s also good for the entire organization.


David Carns is the Chief Strategy Officer of Casepoint LLC. He joined Casepoint as a Director of Client Services in 2010, rose the ranks to Executive Vice President until his most recent promotion in 2017. In addition to being a recovering attorney, Carns possesses a lifelong passion for technology and its advancements. His career has always found him at the intersection of technology and the legal field given his intimate knowledge of both.

Prior to joining Casepoint, Carns’ positions included Director of Practice Technology at a premier global law firm, Technology Consultant, and Director of Technology. Carns holds a Juris Doctorate from The John Marshall Law School and a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from DePauw University.



Webinar: Paper Software Will Demo Contract Tools, Microsoft Word Add-In

Paper Software will present a complimentary webinar on Contract Tools, an add-in for Microsoft Word, that analyzes, proofreads, formats, reviews, and navigates contracts for legal departments and firms.

The webinar will be Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 1 p.m. Eastern time.

On its website, Paper Software says Contract Tools analyzes a document for such elements as provisions, defined terms, cross-references, and more. Analysis takes about two seconds or less for most contracts, and the software updates its analysis instantly.

The process takes place on the user’s personal computer, rather than on a remote server, the company says.

Register or get more details.




Download: Best Practices For Conducting Fast, Defensible Internal Investigations

Zapproved has published a new guide that outlines the five best practices for conducting fast, defensible internal investigations.

The guide can be downloaded from Zapproved website at no charge.

An internal investigation is exactly what it sounds like: an inquiry into an organization’s internal operations, Zapproved says on its website. Internal investigations frequently involve allegations of wrongdoing, such as embezzlement, sexual harassment, discrimination, or wrongful termination. However, an internal investigation may also be conducted in response to a regulatory compliance concern initiated by agencies like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or as part of a due diligence process before a merger or acquisition.

The goal of an internal investigation is to either detect and respond to wrongdoing or dispel suspicions. Organizations should respond to investigations in a way that curtails any specific incident of wrongdoing and discourages similar future violations. The overarching goal is to create an open, productive work environment that is neither distracting nor discriminatory.

Download the guide.



How Does Your Salary Compare? Read the Full GC Landscape Report

LawGeex, in association with the Association of Corporate Counsel, has published an in-depth audit of the general counsel position — looking at more than 34,000 GCs, providing insights into the position and those that occupy it.

The publication, “The 2019 General Counsel Landscape,” can be downloaded from the LawGeex website at no charge.

The guide reveals insights from GCs at hundreds of companies across the United States, including Uber, PayPal, NetApp Amazon, Macy’s and Caterpillar.

Information includes:

  • Compensation based on age, gender, state, sector, and more
  • Industry standards for bonuses and perks
  • The road to becoming the modern GC
  • The Fortune 500 GC – what sets them apart

Download the guide.



Fewer Lawsuits for Corporations, But More Oversight on Data andTax Risk

Corporate counsel report a decrease in the number of lawsuits against their companies over the last year, but they face more regulatory proceedings and arbitrations in navigating increased cyber risk, data protection and tax issues.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s 2018 Litigation Trends Annual Survey polled 365 senior corporate counsel representing US-based organizations on disputes-related issues and concerns.

Two thirds of respondents report feeling more exposed in 2018 to cybersecurity and data protection disputes. The survey also found that the growing international nature of many business operations has caused a spike in conflicts related to countries’ differing discovery and data protection laws and regulations.

See the survey results.



What You Need to Know About Contract Management Software and Small Legal Teams

Contract managementContractWorks has published a new guide:  Contract Management Software for the Small Legal Team: Why It’s Not Just for the Big Fish Anymore, to navigate contract management options so the right solution can be found.

The guide discusses:

• How small legal teams are benefiting from contract management software
• How new solutions are designed to be easy and affordable
• How customization and cloud storage means there’s software for every legal department
• How automation, AI and machine learning can elevate contract management

Download the free ebook.



Legal Departments Sending Less Cash to Big Law, Survey Says

Bloomberg Law is reporting that corporate law departments are spending more, but less of that that money is landing in Big Law coffers, according to a new survey.

Altman Weil’s 19th Annual Chief Legal Officer survey revealed that most companies increased their spending between 2017 and 2018. But about a third of legal officers shifted work to lower-priced alternatives, the data indicated.

Survey participants said they received quality work and service at considerable reductions in cost with shifts to smaller firm, reports Bloomberg’s Elizabeth Olson.

Read the Bloomberg Law article.



Tesla Loses a Senior Lawyer Just as SEC Tightens Grip

Bloomberg is reporting that an experienced securities lawyer has left Tesla Inc. just as the company needs one under its fraud settlement with U.S. regulators.

Phil Rothenberg, a vice president in Tesla’s legal department who joined the company in 2011, became general counsel at Sonder, a hospitality startup, on Nov. 5, writes Bloomberg reporter Dana Hull.

Before joining Tesla, Rothenberg was an attorney-adviser for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and has extensive securities law experience.

Read the Bloomberg article.


2018 Third-Party Risk Management Benchmark Report

NAVEX Global has published a new report discussing how to assess your program maturity, gain organizational buy-in and understand the value of a comprehensive third-party due diligence program.

The report can be downloaded from the NAVEX website at no charge.

“Third parties are an extension of your business and expose your organization to reputational and business risks,” NAVEX says on its website. “Help protect your organization with the latest insights, benchmarks and trends around how to manage these business partners.”

The report answers questions such as:

  • What strategies do organizations use to manage third-party risks?
  • How do organizations employ risk-based procedures to manage third-party risks?
  • How do respondents measure the effectiveness of their program?

Download the report.



IADC Journal Covers Asbestos, Punitive Damages and Manufacturers’ Legal Hurdles

The International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), an invitation-only global legal organization for attorneys who represent corporate and insurance interests, has published its fourth quarter 2018 Defense Counsel Journal (DCJ) with articles on current trends in the practice of law.

The current DCJ issue’s articles explore asbestos tort reform on the state level, the growth of punitive damages in Anglo-Canadian contract law, and legal hurdles that manufacturers face when launching products in the United States.

In a release, the organization, said the DCJ is a quarterly forum for topical and scholarly writings on the law, including its development and reform, as well as on the practice of law in general. DCJ articles are written by members of the IADC, which is a 2,500-member, invitation-only, worldwide organization that serves its members and their clients, as well as the civil justice system and the legal profession.

The DCJ is available for free and without a subscription via the IADC’s website.

The current DCJ issue is the first to be overseen by new editor and former IADC board member Kenneth R. Meyer, a partner in the products liability practice group at McCarter & English, LLP, in Newark, N.J. The issue also is the first under the leadership of new IADC president Craig A. Thompson, a partner at Venable LLP.

Following are brief summaries of key articles included in the fourth quarter 2018 issue of the DCJ:

— “The More Things Change: Bankruptcy Trust Reform and the Status Quo in Asbestos Litigation” – The article debunks plaintiffs’ lawyers’ arguments that trust transparency reforms would delay litigation, deny compensation to the most sympathetic of plaintiffs, and divest plaintiffs of their traditional control over the trust and tort systems. The authors explain how trust transparency reforms have not delayed litigation and have, in fact, accelerated compensation from the asbestos trusts. The article also describes that, where reforms have been enacted, they have achieved their purpose of fostering communication within the two-tiered system of asbestos compensation so that juries can properly account for all of a plaintiff’s exposures to asbestos.

— “Moving Beyond Uberrima Fides? The General Duty of Honesty in Contractual Performance and Punitive Damage Awards in Anglo-Canadian Contract Law” – The article’s authors suggest that the characterization of punitive damages as “the bane of corporate defendants” has perhaps never been more true under Anglo-Canadian contract law. This article demonstrates that while punitive damages for pure breach of contract are undoubtedly exceptional remedies at common law, they are generally larger and more common than ever before, which marks an extraordinary development in Anglo-Canadian contract law considering that only 30 years ago punitive damages were barred for pure breach of contract.

— “Entering the U.S. Market: Legal Hurdles That Manufacturers Must Overcome” – Investigates the life cycle of a product’s development and marketing and provides insight into some of the most common legal hurdles – especially consumer protection lawsuits – faced by manufacturers entering the U.S. market.