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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.

How to Avoid Workplace Background Check Violations

You've likely heard about big-time companies that have felt the sting of the FCRA knife. Workplace background check violations are serious issues employers shouldn't ignore.

Below, we provide a quick overview of The Fair Credit Reporting Act. We also cover some steps you can take as in-house counsel to best protect your company from the new federal cloud passing over corporate clients.

OSHA's Multi-Employer Citation Policy: Intro for In-House Lawyers

In-house attorneys are generally aware that workplace safety can be one of the most pressing concerns for a business client, but they might be less familiar with the implications of OSHA's Multi-Employer Citation Policy.

If you're wondering, what is OSHA's Multi-Employer Citation Policy? Then you're in luck. This quick overview is for you.

How the General Counsel and CFO Should Work Together

These days, being the GC of a company isn't quite the cush job everyone imagined it to be. As commerce has gotten increasingly global, legal teams that operate on the company dime are finding themselves busier than they had ever anticipated. The world waits for no one.

That means that in-house counsel should really leverage power at the top. And since the CEO is often gone or aloof, the next best buddy a general counsel can have is the CFO.