In House

In House - The FindLaw Corporate Counsel Blog


Are You a Trademark Bully?

By now, we've all heard of patent trolls, but now is a good time for us to visit its lesser known cousin, the trademark bully. And yes, just like copyright bullies and the patent troll, they're not particularly loved. The reasons for their existence, unsurprisingly is related to the complexities of Intellectual Property practice.

Are you (or your company) a trademark bully? To find out, take a look at the list of symptoms below.

Are In-House Departments Facing an Exodus of Talent?

Everyone good in the corporate legal department wants out. Yeah, you read that right. According to legal recruitment director Doron Paluch, in-house lawyers are looking to move into private practice at a rate higher than ever before.

Could it be that private practice actually has a lot more to offer?

A former Yahoo manager is challenging the tech company's famous -- or infamous, depending on where you stand -- employee ranking system in federal court. Gregory Anderson, a former Yahoo editor, sued the company on Monday, alleging that the ranking system was used to violate both California and federal employment law.

A hallmark of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's reign at the company, the system requires supervisors to rank every employee on a scale of one to five, with those on the bottom often shown the door. But, Anderson's suit alleges, that merit-based ranking is often a smokescreen for getting around mass layoff laws.

You make sure contractors in your global supply chain keep private data secure. You take pains to ensure third party corruption compliance. You may even require suppliers to adopt social and environmental standards. But have you addressed slavery?

There are more slaves today than at the height of the transatlantic slave trade over 300 years ago and they could be working in your supply chain. Here's how you can root it out.

In-House Lawyers: Deduct Your Travel Expenses

Few people like to do their taxes, and as a consequence they'll try to blaze through the tax-paying process as fast as possible. But if you're an in-house lawyer, that's greenbacks left in the hands of the IRS. And as much as people hate doing their taxes, they should hate letting the government keep their dollars.

One of the most common deductions taken are travel related. Here are a few IRS tips that will help you reduce your company's tax liability this season.

On January 16th, the International Atomic Energy Agency verified that Iran had met its nuclear commitments to the United States and Europe. With that, years of economic sanctions against Iran were suddenly relaxed.

But if your business is rushing to open its first office in Tehran, you'll want to tell them to slow down. Here are three things you need to know about doing business with Iran, post-sanctions.

It was a rough start and quick finish for the first trail over General Motors' defective ignition switches, which have left over 124 dead and many more injured. The first bellwether case fell apart last week as evidence emerged that the plaintiffs had lied about the extent of their injuries. The plaintiff dismissed his claim on Friday, after Southern District of New York Judge Jesse Furman said he had committed "a fraud on the court and on the jury."

So, what went wrong for the plaintiffs and so right for GM?

Salaries and compensation used to be highly-guarded information. Employees generally didn't know what their colleagues were making or how much they earned relative to the cubicle next door.

But pay secrecy's days are numbered, given new state and federal laws, NLRB rulings, and the anonymity of the Internet.

Someone didn't like your shrimp sales, or your "clean diesel" advertising, or your employment practices, and they've filed suit. It's not just any lawsuit, however. It's a class action, so the stakes are a bit higher than your everyday litigation.

What is in-house counsel to do? Here's what.

Copyright Conundrums and Due Diligence

As the world of contract law becomes ever more complex, and as app-authors and programmers get ever more callow about the legal realities of licensing, its easy for parties to get caught up in 'get rich' enthusiasm. They do so at their peril. Copyright and other IP lawsuits lurk around every corner.

We'll go over a scenario that's been playing out more and more recently and some of the steps you, as the in-house lawyer, can do to minimize your client's headache.