Download: Gartner’s New Analyst Report on E-Discovery

Exterro has made available a new Gartner report titled “Defining Your E-Discovery Process Will Lower Costs and Reduce Risks.”

The report, which discusses six recommendations Gartner has for defining e-discovery process, can be downloaded from Exterro’s website at no charge.

“The goal of e-discovery is to find important files and communication that is usually spread out across an organization’s data footprint,” according to the Gartner report. “Infrastructure and operations leaders can use these procedures to better control their information and equip themselves for legal discovery requirements while improving overall maturity.”

Download the report.



ACC Annual Meeting: Oct. 27-30 in Phoenix

The annual meeting of the Association of Corporate Counsel in Phoenix in October will feature more than 140 sessions that will allow participants to earn up to a year’s worth of CLE/CPD credit in less than three days.

The event will be Oct. 27-30.

Topics at those sessions will include such subjects as contract drafting, data security, corporate sustainability, records management, and business education for in-house counsel.

Register or get more information.



Download: 5 Ways to Manage Expanding Board and Committee Agendas

The National Association of Corporate Directors has published a briefing that explains how audit and nominating and governance committee chairs can improve their risk-oversight strategy.

The briefing can be downloaded from the NACD website at no charge.

The report discusses such questions as: How can boards and committees continue to scale up their capacity for overseeing the major risks on their agendas? How should they address the concerns risk oversight raises among investors and regulators?

Some of the strategies discussed are:

  • Use ad hoc committees to cope with expanding oversight requirements.
  • Leverage evaluations and carefully review charters to ensure that committees are focusing on clearly-defined priorities and responsibilities.
  • Ensure directors’ skills are keeping pace with rapidly-evolving and future issues.
  • Increase meeting efficiency with prereads, consent agendas, and other tactics.
  • Communicate risk-oversight priorities and processes to investors and regulators.

Download the briefing.




Download: Designing an Information Governance Plan That Meets Your Ediscovery Needs

Zapproved has published “A How-To Guide for Managing Discoverable Data” and made it available for downloading at no charge.

“Your organization’s data has value, but — even with the low unit cost of storage — you can’t afford the cost, or the risks, of storing it all forever,” the company says on its website. “On the other hand, you can’t delete all of your data without running afoul of regulatory and litigation-based retention requirements. Information governance is the key to bridging the gap between these two extremes.”

The guide breaks down the five key components that information governance shares with ediscovery and explains why the quality of your ediscovery depends on the quality of information governance. It covers data organization and management, record retention and its flip side, defensible deletion, data access and security, and the extraction and use of critical business data.

Download the guide.



Download: The 2019 Guide to Contract Management Software

ContractWorks has published a guide to evaluate current contract management processes and learn best practices for vetting the right software for a company’s needs.

“The 2019 Buyer’s Guide to Contract Management Software” can be downloaded from ContractWorks’ website at no charge.

“Purchasing contract management software can be a complicated and time-consuming process for in-house counsel. Recognizing that you need a better way to manage your organization’s contracts is an important first step, but understanding what to do next can be a challenge,” the company says.

The guide covers:

• How to recognize failing contract management indicators
• How gauge software readiness at your company
• How software can help and where it can’t
• How to evaluate and understand your options
• How to ensure successful on-boarding

Download the guide.



Alexander Dubose Jefferson Adds Former Appellate Justice

Bill Boyce, a justice on the Fourteenth Court of Appeals in Houston for 11 years, has joined Alexander Dubose & Jefferson in the firm’s Houston office.

In addition to his experience on the bench, he practiced law for 18 years as an associate and partner at Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.

While in private practice he argued more than 60 cases in appellate courts throughout Texas and across the country, including the United States Supreme Court.  He has been board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Civil Appellate Law since 1994 and has served on the board’s appellate exam drafting committee.  He has been selected as Appellate Judge of the Year by the Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists.

Read more about Boyce.



Download: A Blueprint for an Automated Compliance Program

GAN Integrity has published the second edition of A Blueprint for an Automated Compliance Program, an ebook that can be downloaded from the GAN website at no charge.

The ebook is a detailed guide to risk management, due diligence, training, policy management, reporting, and more.

The book is designed to help readers:

  • Understand what to ask when designing your processes
  • Comprehend the building blocks of an automated compliance program
  • Grasp how automation streamlines previously time-consuming processes
  • See how automation heightens the strategic value of compliance

Download the ebook.



White Paper: The Essentials of a Defensible Legal Hold Process

A new white paper published by Exterro takes a look at six e-discovery cases from the recent past that spell out the key elements of a defensible legal hold process.

The paper can be downloaded from Exterro’s website at no charge.

“A solid legal hold process is the foundation of all your e-discovery efforts,” the company says on its website. “After all, if your organization fails to preserve relevant electronically stored information, you’re opening up the door for potential problems during litigation. While practitioners, vendors, and thought leaders can offer their opinions on what constitutes a defensible process, the courts are the ultimate authority who determine whether or not your process passes muster.”

The paper covers:

  • Why you need to be timely and specific
  • Why collect-everything approaches aren’t necessary
  • What you’re risking if you fail to show good faith

Download the white paper.



Download: Zapproved’s Latest Guide for a Quick Reference to Essential Ediscovery Law

Zapproved has published “The Essential Guide to Ediscovery Law and Practice” and made it available for downloading from the company’s website at no charge.

The new guide covers relevant critical sections of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and includes case law examples.

The company says the guide summarizes those portions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that pertain specifically to ediscovery: from Rule 26’s definitions of scope and proportionality to Rule 37’s explanation of spoliation and delineation of available sanctions.

And the guide includes interspersed targeted advice and case law illustrations.

Download the guide.



Estes Thorne & Carr Earns Spot on National Client Service List

Estes Thorne & Carr has earned a place on the 2019 BTI Client Service A-Team List.

Selection is reserved for firms and individuals that go above and beyond on the promise of outstanding client service. Attorneys cannot self-nominate, self-refer, or pay to be included. Selection to the list is based solely on unprompted feedback from GCs through in-depth telephone interviews.

In addition, firm founder Dawn Estes was singled out with a place among the BTI Client Service All-Stars, an elite group of just 335 attorneys nationwide.

Read about the award.



Fears Nachawati Adds Three Lawyers to Firm

Dallas-based Fears Nachawati announced the addition of three new attorneys.

Misty Farris has a background as an appellate and legal briefing attorney and works with the firm’s pharmaceutical and medical device litigation.

Ann Saucer is a litigator with experience in consumer protection, class-actions, environmental law, toxic torts, and pharmaceutical litigation.

Amy Shahan briefs substantive trial court motions and responses and litigates claims on behalf of victims who have used or been exposed to toxic substances, defective products, and pharmaceuticals.

Read more about Fears Nachawati.



Join Sally Yates at NACD’s 2019 General Counsel Event

National Association of Corporate DirectorsThe National Association of Corporate Directors will present the 2019 Strategic-Asset GC event, taking place Tuesday, June 11, at the Metropolitan Club in New York City.

The event will feature an expert panel that will include former U.S. deputy attorney general Sally Yates. Participants will learn about revisions being made to the Yates Memo and how those revisions will apply to board members specifically. The discussion will also include information about legal blind spots that general counsel and directors need to be aware of, as well as a poignant discussion around the bigger picture of corporate responsibility and culture.

Learn more and register.



Download: Ethics & Compliance Hotline Benchmark Report

NAVEX Global has published the 2019 Ethics & Compliance Hotline Benchmark Report and made it available for downloading at no charge.

“One simple act of documenting open-door conversations and emails allows you to capture and address employee concerns more effectively,” the company says on its website.

The report includes statistics on:

  • Case Closure Times
  • Harassment Reporting Trends
  • Anonymous Reporting Statistics
  • % of Reports Substantiated

Download the report.



Webinar: The Role of In-House and External Counsel in Managing Open Source

WebinarFlexera will present a complimentary webinar discussing the role of in-house and external counsel in managing open source software in the business environment.

The event will be Thursday, April 18, 2019, at 9 a.m. PT / 11 a.m. CT / 12 noon ET.

“Having some best practice guidelines that more clearly define your role and help you guide companies through license compliance and risk management only reinforces and bolsters one of your most important responsibilities as a legal advisor,” the company says in its invitation.

Speakers will be Amy Chun, partner in Knobbe Martens, and Marty Mellican, vice president and associate general counsel of Flexera.

Register for the webinar.



NAVEX Global: Reports of Harassment Continue to Increase in Wake of #MeToo

Leading ethics and compliance software and services company NAVEX Global announced the release of its 2019 Ethics & Compliance Hotline Benchmark Report. The report, which includes the first full year of results since the #MeToo era began, shows an overall 18 percent increase in harassment reports during 2017 and 2018 with 41 percent of these reports substantiated.

“These findings reflect strong growth in the number of employees willing to speak out against harassment – and they should serve as notice to employers that #MeToo is a fundamental shift in employees’ willingness to tolerate harassment,” said Carrie Penman, chief compliance officer and senior vice president, Advisory Services, NAVEX Global. “That said, the problem of harassing conduct is larger than these numbers reflect as many employees still fear reporting. Failed cultures, ineffective internal processes, fear of retaliation and lack of leadership support will continue to result in numbers that do not reflect the true pervasiveness of workplace harassment.”

In addition to claims of sexual harassment, employees are also reluctant to raise reports of retaliation when they lack trust in internal processes. “Reports of retaliation remain extremely low in comparison to the trends we are seeing in external reporting to government agencies,” said Penman. “The gap between internal and external retaliation reporting should be concerning to all boards, executives and compliance professionals. It is time to focus the attention and resources needed to identify, address and prevent retaliatory behaviour.”

The report also found a substantial 18 percent increase in discrimination reports in 2018. However, the substantiation rate of these cases remains significantly lower than the overall case substantiation rate of 29 percent. This is likely because discrimination claims, like retaliation claims, are often based on perceived behaviour rather than on a clear statement or evidence, making these types of cases more difficult to prove.

The 2019 hotline report is the first in which NAVEX Global received and analysed over 1 million employee reports in a single year. One of the key findings is that availability and tracking of all report intake methods matters. Organizations that offer and track the full range of intake methods (hotline, web, open door, etc.) show a much higher reporting rate than do organizations that track only phone and web: 2.1 per 100 employees versus 1.1 per 100. Organizations in the latter category are missing a significant percentage of concerns and risks that employees could be raising.

Finally, this year’s hotline benchmark report included several other results that organizations should consider as they look to improve their own programs.

•Follow-ups to anonymous reporting dropped to a disappointing level, from a median 32 percent in 2017 to 20 percent in 2018. This is particularly striking given that overall report substantiation for anonymous reporters remained high at 38 percent, only slightly lower than the overall rate of 42 percent. “More than half of reports received on hotlines are made by anonymous reporters, so employee failure to follow up on those reports can impact the ability to successfully resolve an issue,” said Penman.

•There was some improvement in case closure time with a median rate of 40 days in 2018, compared with 44 in 2017 and the all-time high of 46 days in 2015. But the 2018 median was still far higher than a best-practice average of 30 to 32 days. Given that employees can become cynical if reports aren’t handled promptly, these findings show that many organizations should review their case-handling and investigation procedures, while also consulting with senior leadership about gaps in available resources.

•Reports made to hotlines that were inquiries, not allegations, decreased to an all-time low of 15 percent. Accepting questions before action is taken is the best way to avoid a problem later. Organizations should encourage employees to use the hotline as a helpline that can offer advice and assistance – and not just a place to file reports.

NAVEX Global will present a webinar covering the survey results. The full 2019 Hotline Benchmark report will be available for download during the webinar.



Reichman Jorgensen Opens in DC With ITC Leader From Finnegan

Christine Lehman

Reichman Jorgensen has opened a new office in Washington, D.C., and named Christine Lehman as managing partner of the office.

An article in The American Lawyer reports that Lehman previously spent 20 years at Finnegan, Henderson, Farrabow, Garrett & Dunner, where she led that firm’s International Trade Commission litigation group and chaired its pro bono committee. She’s an experienced patent litigator with a specialty in cases at the ITC, where she served as an investigative attorney early in her career.

Reichman Jorgensen now has offices in Silicon Valley, New York, Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

Read the article.




How Has Personal Injury Changed Over Time?

Three trends have dominated the practice of law, and personal injury law in Texas, writes Bryan O. Blevins, an equity partner with Beaumont, Texas-based Provost Umphrey Law Firm. These are tort reform, judicial activism, and technology.

Tort reform has resulted in many more deserving victims having the courthouse doors slammed shut than frivolous claims being denied, Blevins writes in the article originally published in Texas Lawyer.

“Judicial activism can best be seen in the increase of appeals accepted and the almost universal reversal of trial judgments that favor plaintiff personal injury victims,” in Blevins’ view. “In the last 20 years, we have seen the explosive growth of appellate courts substituting their own version of end-result oriented justice through the guise of ‘expert’ qualification and testimony.”

And new technologies are forcing attorneys to rethink questions that, under other circumstances, may have been much simpler to answer, he added, citing legal issues surrounding driverless cars as an example of the new challenges lawyers must face.

Read the article.



Greenberg Traurig Elevates Four Attorneys in Texas

The Texas offices of global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP have elevated Todd Basile and Adelaida Vasquez to shareholder, and Audrey Chang and Peter Lacina to of counsel.

Chang and Vasquez work in the firm’s Houston office, while Basile and Lacina work in the firm’s Dallas office.

Basile is in the Intellectual Property & Technology Practice; Vasquez is in the White Collar Defense & Special Investigations Practice; Change is in the Corporate Practice; and Lacina is in the Litigation Practice.

See more information on the four.



Webinar: Is Your Whistleblower Program Effective?

NAVEX Global will present a complimentary webinar title “Employee Hotlines: What Is Your Data Telling You?” on Thursday, April 4, at 10 a.m. Pacific time/1 p.m. Eastern time.

Studies show that effective internal whistleblower programs contribute to business success, including lower levels of litigation. Yet, external reports to the SEC are on the rise, with many employees failing to use internal reporting systems due to fear of retaliation.

The webinar will allow participants to compare how their hotline programs measures up against benchmarks from more than one million anonymized reports from industry leader NAVEX Global.

Register for the webinar.



Economic Value Added: The Good, the Bad, and the Complex

National Association of Corporate DirectorsThe National Association of Corporate Directors will present a complimentary webinar on economic value added on Thursday, March 21, 2019, at 2 p.m. Eastern time.

While EVA (or Economic Value Added) is not new, it has been one of the more obscure financial performance metrics for incentive compensation, the NACD says on its website. However, thanks to ISS, it is now center stage. Beginning this year, EVA will be included for “informational purposes” in some ISS research reports. Further, ISS has indicated that they may include EVA in the Financial Performance Assessment (FPA) screens in the future.

What do you need to know about this enigmatic performance metric and how does it apply to compensation plans with a pay-for-performance orientation? This webinar will provide a starting point for understanding EVA and how to evaluate its relevance to your industry, company, and incentive programs.

Register for the webinar.