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Fighting Gender Bias in Tech Culture

After a high profile discrimination lawsuit rocked Silicon Valley two years ago, few insiders thought things would ever be the same in the corporate culture of high tech firms.

Ellen Pao lost her case at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, but her lawsuit brought national attention to gender discrimination in the tech industry. Pao, who is now chief diversity and inclusion officer for Kapor Center for Social Impact and a venture partner at Kapor Capital, said Silicon Valley has to stop shooting the messengers.

"I hope instead that people are listening," she said. "Whether that's HR, whether that's the manager, whether that's the press, whether that's the general public, everybody should be paying attention to these stories and to these experiences and thinking about: How do we prevent them?"

With new gender bias lawsuits against Uber, Microsoft, and other tech companies, however, it appears that things have not changed that much in the past two years. According to reports, women are still fighting an uphill battle for equality in the high tech hub of the world.

Why Your In-House Job Is at Risk Over Cybersecurity

The Russians are putting your job at risk.

No, that's not the latest tweet from President Trump. That's just the cyberchain that connects the modern lawyer's job security to some hacker a world away.

This is no joke, or at least not a very good one, especially to Yahoo's general counsel. Ron Bell was fired after the company discovered massive security breaches, including activity from a state-sponsored actor. Like I said, the Russians.

But whether Bell was the fall-guy for legal missteps or the hackers were better than the Yahoo lawyers at their jobs, the bottom line is the same. Your job is at risk, too.

Is It Time for an Ethics Adviser?

With ethics issues swirling around the White House, President Trump appointed an internal adviser and his company named an outside counselor to deal with ethics concerns of the businessman-turned-president.

According to reports, President Trump's outside counsel is preparing documents for his divestiture plan that suggest a new internal ethics and compliance function. The ethics adviser would be responsible for ensuring that The Trump Organization is "not taking any actions that actually exploit, or even could be perceived as exploiting, the office of the presidency."

The adviser would be responsible for giving written approval on any deals or actions that could "potentially raise ethics or conflicts of interest issues."

California's Rights to Privacy and Compliance Programs

California is famous for Hollywood, Disneyland, and the Online Privacy Protection Act.

What? Did you think the Golden State was all fun and games? Californians do more than go to the movies and amusement parks.

In fact, they value the right to privacy so much they enshrined it in Article I of the state constitution. Not even the U.S. Supreme Court could do better in creating a constitutional right to privacy.

"Today, California leads the nation not only as an innovation hub for information technologies, but also with the most comprehensive, stringent and up-to-date information privacy laws," according to excerpts from a privacy practice guide by attorney Lothar Determann.

Global Cybersecurity Threats Are Coming

In a world connected through the internet, satellites, cell zones, and wireless networks, cybersecurity threats can come from virtually anywhere and affect almost anybody.

This is especially true in the United States, where even the recent presidential election was affected by email hacks and security breaches. Cyber-espionage has become the weapon of choice for some governments.

In the breach, lawyers and their clients may want to consider cybersecurity laws taking shape in many parts of the world. Winston and Strawn partner Lisa Thomas lays out a global roadmap for the coming years:

Proposed IRS Regulations Go After the Family Limited Partnership

If your client operates a business through a Family Limited Partnership, professional responsibility requires that you apprise them of possible changes on the horizon that could substantially affect these entities' tax exposure.

This is big news for high net-worth families who have successfully utilized the Minority Interest Discount to reduce estate taxes for the next generation. But how do you break the news to your rich clients?

In-House Lawyer's Intro to Trade Secrets

When it comes to intellectual property, everyone talks patents. Trademarks, copyrights, and other bits of intellectual property are scattered about. Even attorneys can sometimes fall into the trap of knowing just enough to be dangerous to themselves.

Less known is the trade secret. Trade secret law mostly gets invoked in the context of employment law. Almost everyone has signed a lengthy employment contract that stipulates in prolix language that the employee will not divulge valuable trade secret information to third parties. But what key factors should in-house lawyers be aware of when it comes to this lesser known aspect of intellectual property?

Is Obesity a Protected Disability Under the ADA?

As America's waistline has gotten bigger, so too have the number of lawsuits that have asked the very important question: is obesity a qualifying disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act? Well, the short answer is no, but the more lawyerly answer is "yes, practically."

Below we get into the weeds of obesity and its relationship with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Will Passage of Prop 64 Affect CA Employers' Drug Policies?

California voters will get a chance to finally legalize the adult possession and consumption of marijuana within this state, joining the ranks of D.C., Oregon, Washington, and a few other jurisdictions this coming November 8th. This, despite marijuana still being listed as a banned substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

You may be wondering how the passage of Prop 64 will affect California employers' rights to vigilantly control drug policies. Likely, not much.

Employee Theft Is Rampant: 5 Signs It's Happening

By some accounts, about 75 percent of employees steal from their employers. As in-house counsel, you might find yourself in the uncomfortable position of having to advise your client as to why some numbers aren't matching up. Could it be that someone in the company is walking out with the goods? Could be.