Wednesday, April 26, 2006

In the News: ACC!

Ok, the story isn't about ACC, but still. Check out Business Week online today to see a story about a case involving Qwest Communications that takes on the issue of limited waiver. The clearly brilliant reporter noted that ACC filed a brief on behalf of Qwest warning that a decision against the company would erode attorney-client privilege.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

In the News: Choose Your Company Wisely

If you want to avoid finding yourself in hot water when you take your next in-house position, you can get some advice from an expert. has a story written by Scott Wiegand, who accepted a job at and later faced felony charges. Read the full story (co-written by the lawyers who represented Wiegand at trial).

Friday, April 21, 2006

Meta what?

Metadata. You may not know what it is, but you are producing it. Many electronic documents contain all sorts of information that you do not see unless you know how to look for it- information such as the identity of the person who created it, and all the edits and changes. That settlement agreement you emailed to the other side might contain metadata that would allow the other side to see the various iterations of your thinking, and give away your position. Do you know how to remove the data? Is it ethical to look for it when you receive a document? Check out this article, and let ACC know what you think.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

In the News: Best Legal Department?

Corporate Counsel magazine has taken the bold step of naming the "best" legal department among Fortune 500 companies. And the winner is...Ford Motor Co. You can find out why by reading the full story. How does your department stack up?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Just Show Up

I was sitting at a public hearing last night on the budget for the school district where I live. Very few people come to these budget hearings, but the few who do often get what they ask for.

I served on a school board for seven years, and people would always ask me "how do I get the school system to do what I want." I used to tell them "just show up and ask."

How is this relevant to ACC? It is the budget time of year. Like many non-profits, most of what we do depends on an annual budget. The ACC fiscal year starts October 1, so we start working hot and heavy on the budget in early Spring. Most of the budget ideas will need to be in the proposed mix by May 1.

What does this mean for you? If you want ACC to do something, such as provide a resource or a new service (or stop doing something), it needs to get in (or out) of the budget now. Not everything that is proposed will be in the budget, but if it is not on the list now, it probably will not be added later.

The good news is that you do not actually have to show up for a meeting. You can show up virtually via email, a phone call or one of the many ACC listservs.

Let me know what you think.

Monday, April 17, 2006

In the News: Jumping to Conclusions?

According to a story in US News & World Report this week, "the days of cracking down on white-collar crime may already be over." Part of the evidence they use to back-up this claim is the US Sentencing Commission's decision to remove language that gave prosecutors the right to demand waiver of attorney-client privilege (a decision ACC has advocated for some time). The story also use the trials of Richard Scrushy and Frank Quattrone to bolster its case. Plus, ACC's Susan Hackett gets quoted on what's next.

Is US News right on the money or is it making a giant leap? Read the story and let us know what you think.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Pregnancy discrimination suits on the rise...still

Pregnancy discrimination suits are on the rise, especially in corporate America. Why, at all levels, are female employees still facing this sort of discrimination? Isn't is concerning when according to the US Department of Labor by 2008, women will make up about 48 percent of the labor force and men 52 percent?

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions constitutes unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII. Women affected by pregnancy or related conditions must be treated in the same manner as other applicants or employees with similar abilities or limitations.

Facts about Pregnancy Discrimination

Thursday, April 13, 2006

In the News: Elliot Spitzer "wannabes"

According to, there's a new breed of "activist" state attorney generals (a.k.a the Spitzer wannabes) targeting businesses. No news to us. But you can still read the full story.

Other exciting developments: Justice Scalia pronounces that refusing to recuse himself from the Cheney case is "the proudest thing I have done." Um, Ok.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

In the News: But Why?

In my handy newswire email this morning, I learned that a law firm in Texas is raising associates' pay. Shocking! This same story has been running over and over for months, albeit with a different law firm (or firms) named each time. The story even begins, "Like associates at a number of other Texas firms, associates at Dallas-based Gardere Wynne Sewell and Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr are getting raises." Yawn.

The story appears ahead of a piece on the $9 million in punitive damages that Merck was hit with. I don't understand.

Can someone tell me why this is news? Please? Can't we just have a story headlined "All law firms (eventually) give associates raises" and be done with it?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Clicking for Content

This morning at a staff meeting, ACC employees heard that 800 people clicked on the blog page link yesterday, presumably because it was mentioned in an all-member email. Like everything we do at ACC, the blog page was created to make it easier for you to find information to make it easier to do your job.

While it is easy to put up a page and get folks to click, it is harder to provide content that someone will actually want to read, and think about once they get here.

ACC did not add this new blog service to be cool (probably why we waited till it was way past cool to have one), but rather as part of a new initiative to build better online communities for our members.

In the coming months you will see more attempts towards this goal- new combinations of listserv/discussion groups, better navigation tools for the website, and more online networking opportunities.

Will it all work? That depends on whether you use it, which is going to depend on how useful it is for you to stop by. Since I have the distinction of being the staff member who gets yelled at if we do not provide useful services, let me know what you want to see here.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

In the News: Attorney-Client Privilege

If you haven't seen it, you should check out the great editorial in the Wall Street Journal ( on attorney-client privilege. The editors lambast the DOJ for its reliance on the Thompson memorandum and suggest that its days are numbered (the memo, not DOJ). Stay tuned for some more big news on attorney-client privilege later today...