In House - The FindLaw Corporate Counsel Blog


Yelp Leadership Misled Investors, Lawsuit Claims

A group of Yelp investors are suing the review site for misleading them about the company's financials.

According to a proposed class action, shareholders say Yelp withheld negative financial information in the last quarter of 2016. They say it came to light when the company released its next earnings report.

Adding insult to their injury, the plaintiffs say, the company's chief executive officer sold off $25 million in stock during that time when it was artificially inflated. Talk about a bad Yelp review!

Handling a CEO Who Thinks He Is Above the Law

Some people will do anything as long as they can get away with it.

If that somebody happens to be the chief executive officer, it can be a bigger problem than just one person. Bad behavior can literally take down a whole company.

If you are the general counsel, now it's your problem. So what to do with a CEO who thinks he or she is above the law?

According to the brilliant minds over at the Harvard Business Review, employers can help identify those employees with the highest potential to succeed thanks to some scientific research. They explain that doing so is critical as you need to identify your top performers in order to make sure you retain them, and best utilize them.

Surprisingly, the three factors cited in the HBR report don't seem very scientific at all. But, apparently, the three primary indicators for an employer to identify its star employees are:

Starz' New GC Hits the Ground Running

Audrey Lee is not just stepping into the lead role as general counsel for Starz, the entertainment network.

Lee moved over from Lionsgate, the company's corporate parent where she served as deputy general counsel. In accepting the new assignment, she said she looks "forward to helping chart the course for business during a time of rapid change for our industry."

But just as soon as she walked into her office, Starz promptly filed for emergency injunctive relief against a cable company that turned off its programs. Lee has hit Beverly Boulevard running.

After AI, How Valuable Is Your Company's Data?

Economists say data is the new oil.

It suggests that data is the world's most valuable resource. And if your company has it, then you may be sitting on an untapped source of money.

Like an oil rig, it could be a gusher. Or it could blow up in your face. Here are some precautions to consider before you start drilling.

Billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel is making people wonder about whether it is morally (and legally) okay to purchase the crushed remains of your former legal adversary.

Thiel has been making headlines over his desire to purchase Gawker, whom he played a large part in destroying. He did so by funding the Hulk Hogan sex-tape lawsuit, which resulted in a verdict and settlement in 2016 which basically ended the internet media company.

Tesla, one of the hottest and most followed companies, is facing yet another international lawsuit. For the second time, the inspired automaker is being sued by customers in Norway that claim the company's P85D was misrepresented and not advertised properly to buyers.

If you think this sounds familiar, well, it is. The lawyer handling the matter pretty much explained that it is the same type of case that settled last year, with a new batch of owners. He further explains that the new batch of owners that filed suit are looking for the same sort of settlement that was reached in the prior case.

Burger King to Pay for 'Modified' Sandwiches

Buy-one-get-one-free deals can be really costly if your company sells a ton of them.

It's not the typical loss-leader sales; it's the typical class-action lawsuits. In Burger King's case, it was a $4 breakfast sandwich that turned into $185,000 in attorney's fees and $10,000 in expenses.

That's how much the company has agreed to pay the plaintiffs' attorneys, plus $5 or a $2 gift card for customers who claim they were overcharged for a modified sandwich. Guess that's what happens when a company says you can have it your way.

Marijuana 'Compliance Company' Planned Illegal Pot Party

Capitol Compliance Management offers to help businesses comply with laws that affect the cannabis industry.

So it came as a surprise when city officials shut down the company's "Holiday Budtender Bash" before it started. It was supposed to be an event for attendees to "smoke out with your favorite budtenders" and try out the "dab bar" where people could sample the latest products.

Somehow, the company attorney didn't get the memo because that party was against the law.

Improve Your Presentations With Storytelling Structures

Nobody tells a story like a good storyteller.

Kurt Vonnegut, the acclaimed American author, had a structure for crafting stories. He said one is the Cinderalla story, and another is the Man in a Hole.

"People love that story," he said. That about sums it up for corporate counsel, especially when they have to present company successes and failures.