In House - The FindLaw Corporate Counsel Blog


Who Wants Uber's General Counsel Role?

Looking at Uber's legal organization is a little like looking at an incomplete schematic for a car.

If you are not an electrician or really good at sorting out a tangle, you may have trouble figuring out how the company's legal team even works. There are definitely some missing connections.

Last week, the San Francisco-based company moved its general counsel to chief legal officer. Days later, the company's top attorney for basically the rest of the world quit.

In the meantime, there's a big hole at the general counsel position. Does anybody know where this car going?

Creativity Required for Creating New Jobs as Robots Take Old Ones

Technology is like an unstoppable wave, rushing upon the shore and scattering countless grains of sand.

In the same way, technology will wash away workers in the coming economic sea change. Smart machines will take their jobs, and they will need new ones.

Darlene Damm, writing for the Harvard Business Review, says it's time for companies to get creative.

Fake Email Puts Barclays CEO on the Spot

At a roast, at least one joke cuts so close that the audience laughs only because people aren't sure how to react.

It happened at a roast recently for Jes Staley, chief executive officer for Barclays. The bank was hosting its annual shareholder meeting, where Staley got the brunt of jokes about a prankster who fooled him with a message posing as the bank's chairman.

Staley had to laugh it off for the shareholders, but the spoofed email was a serious matter. It resulted in a government investigation and a pay cut for Staley over the way he handled it.

Another Uber Lesson: Firing an Employee at the Center of Scandal

Uber has more problems than an old car and it's starting to break down -- legally.

Drivers have sued the company for overtime and other complaints. Contractors have sued for unpaid bills. A competitor has sued for stealing technology.

But if ever there were a legal spot between a rock and a hard place for Uber, it's between the company and its engineer Anthony Levandowski. The former Google worker allegedly stole self-driving technology and took it to Uber, and a judge is not happy about it.

Time for Exit Interviews at Uber?

With litigation pending against Uber over its self-driving technology, a group of its engineers are reportedly headed for the doors.

Recode reports that the company is facing an exodus of key talent. Instead of waiting for a court decision that could terminate their division, the engineers are looking elsewhere.

It is another impending problem for Uber, which is already entangled in various lawsuits and barely able to pay its bills. So what is a company attorney to do when facing critical resignations?

When we see a good idea, we sometimes ask ourselves, "Why didn't I think of that?"

Then there are those times we say, "What were they thinking?" This is one of those times because this app is not a good idea.

Feeld, a dating app that can piggyback on many office communication networks, is designed to facilitate hook-ups at work. It is not an innovation as much as it is an invitation to sexual harassment. And so now it is time to think about preventing harassment in the virtual workplace.

This Crime-Fighting Robot Is Ready to Protect Your Business

There's a new sheriff in town, but there's a catch: it's a robot.

K5 is a security robot that works for less than minimum wage, doesn't take breaks, and won't sue for discrimination if you misassign its gender. With laser reflexes and hi-tech cameras for surveillance, the thing can take pictures faster than a teenager with an iPhone at the mall.

So if you need a modern crime-fighter to patrol your parking lot or other business, K5 is ready for work.

Calculating the 'Day of Rest' for Workers in California

When the California Supreme Court said employees are guaranteed a day of rest for each workweek, it left the math up to employers.

It requires some calculations, but on balance it means that full-time workers are entitled to no less than one day's rest for every seven. In Mendoza v. Nordstrom, Inc., the court said the law protects the day of rest for anyone who works more than six hours a day.

"If on any one day an employee works more than six hours, a day of rest must be provided during that workweek," Justice Kathryn Werdegar wrote, adding that the rule is subject to some exceptions.

The math really comes in when employers try to figure out the exceptions.

Startup Counsel Salaries Going Up in Silicon Valley

Until a startup is required to disclose compensation details, it's hard to know how much general counsel make there.

But according to reports, in-house counsel salaries are going up in 2017. And in Silicon Valley, the startups are putting it out there.

Julie Brush, writing for the Recorder, says the market has picked up for general counsel in the San Francisco Bay Area. She says the base salary is $250,000 to $300,000.

"Of all the compensation knobs, this one has turned the most in a forward direction for candidates," she wrote. "Rarely will the number exceed $300K or fall below $250K at the offer stage."

Will Pandora Internet Radio Go Up for Sale?

With all the excitement about innovation, sometimes it leaves companies and even industries behind like dead bodies in unmarked graves.

Pandora, the first radio music service online, has fallen victim to innovations by Apple and Spotify. The rumors of its demise are exaggerated, but Pandora may soon be taken over by another company or be forced to borrow more money to survive.

The company reportedly is "confident" that it will be sold in the next 30 days, even as it announced an agreement to take a $150 million investment from a private equity firm. The reports have caused Pandora's stock to rise and fall, and it signals some significant changes ahead.