In House

In House - The FindLaw Corporate Counsel Blog

EEOC Clears up the Direction of 'Wellness' Programs

The EEOC cleared up some confusion surrounding the interaction of corporate wellness programs of other federal laws like GINA and the Americans with Disabilities Act by issuing rules concerning voluntariness. And the results have some upset.

In-house lawyers for most companies may be able to slip by without making major changes to legal compliance this time around, as the rules appear to have changed little from the proposed rules of last year.

Bayer, the German drug giant, has put forward an offer to buy Monsanto, the St. Louis-based purveyor of genetically modified crops, for $62 billion -- in cash. The offer, which came without solicitation by Monsanto, would be the largest all-cash takeover ever, according to Reuters.

But, it's far from a sure thing, with investors in both companies reacting unenthusiastically.

Female Exec at BoA Sues, Alleges 'Bro's Club', Lies, Butt-Kissing

A high ranking female executive at one of the nation's biggest banks brought a wallop of a suit against her employer recently, alleging, among other things, a "subordinate 'bro's club' of all-male sycophants."

It's a damning set of allegations against a professional industry that has already lost a lot of its balance amidst frequent allegations of sex-related pay imbalances.

ADA Tort Reform Bill Could Mean Fewer Suits

California recently passed Senate Bill 269, a law that extends protections to small business owners, shielding them in some cases from penalties and fines arising from ADA violations.

Small businesses have generally let out a collective sigh of relief. But really, what are some of the effects of the new law? Fortunately, it all appears pretty simple.

There are 50 beautiful states in this country and you've probably got business in more than a few of them. As in-house counsel, you don't need to memorize the commercial codes from California to Connecticut, but there are some important state issues that you should be aware of. States with big markets and lots of regulation deserve extra attention. (We're looking at you, California and New York.)

So, to help you out, here are our top state-specific tips for corporate counsel, from the FindLaw archives.

Facebook Recruits Bay Area Judge as In-House Counsel

The world's most popular social networking company just hired a sitting judge to join its legal team instead of turning to the legal gray matter of other Silicon Valley companies, according to the Wall Street Journal. It's a nice touch.

The hiring of that judge, U.S Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal, hardly seems coincidental. After all, Facebook has its hands full when it comes to hot potato legal issues.

In-House Counsel's Short Guide to Important PTAB Cases

Though it was only created within the last few years under the America Invents Act of 2012, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has been the situs of much intellectual property drama and bloodletting. Generally, boards that are this young need even a decade or two to pass before lawyers can start generating a nice spreadsheet of precedential cases.

But the recent tidal wave of PTAB appeals before the Federal Circuit has reminded us of the importance of in house counsel's understanding of the whole PTAB process.

President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act into law last week, giving powerful new tools to companies looking to protect their trade secrets from misappropriations.

The act adds two major weapons to the corporate legal arsenal: a federal cause of action for trade secrets theft and a civil seizure mechanism that gives the act some serious bite. But it also places new requirements on employers. Here's what in-house counsel should know.

Legal Departments: Getting Ready for Summer Associates

Recently we covered the legal issues involving summer interns working gratis. Now we can address a meatier concern: summer associates.

Much ink and gossip is spilled and spent (not necessarily in that order, mind you) over how to handle summer associate culture. But what about summer associates in an in-house setting?

The past few years have seen a major change in public attitudes towards and legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. Last year, gay rights advocates won a stunning victory in the Supreme Court, as the Court recognized a constitutional right to marriage equality. This week, the Obama administration squared off against North Carolina, over the legal protections afforded transgender individuals.

These changes have a significant effect on the workplace, requiring updated policies or leading to new anti-discrimination suits, for example. Here's what in-house counsel need to know.