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Should GCs Move to the Company Board?

Gone are the days when general counsel simply served a company as the consummate legal stick-in-the-mud. As the world of business becomes more complex, GC skills are now needed more broadly, at higher levels, and earlier.

Bloomberg announced on Tuesday that it had bought up the intellectual property and patents of Netbox Blue, an Australian company that provides social media risk management and compliance services. Netbox Blue's tech will be used as part of Bloomberg Vault, the company's enterprise compliance platform.

Bloomberg Vault's customers are primarily financial services firms and the newly-acquired technology could be used to help them catch an errant tweet, email, or instant message before it lands the company in trouble with the SEC or FINRA.

Advertising Laws and Regulations In-House Lawyers Should Know

In-house counsel may be tempted simply to apply a common sense approach to marketing and advertising issues you may encounter. After all, operating on good-faith and honest disclosure works well-enough for general law practice, right?

Well, you'd be wrong. Advertising and marketing are actually subject to numerous federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Keeping track of which laws govern which industries can be quite a chore. But it must be done.

General Counsel: Know These Federal Employment Laws

Being an employer is hard. With an increase of clients suing in-house lawyers, being an employer's lawyer isn't so great these days either.

Navigating employment law is tricky, dangerous business. For example, companies can get in trouble for the tests they employ to assess applicants and employees. The EEOC has released a general sheet covering the most common issues regarding federal laws. We'll go over some of the highlights here.

Survey: In-House Can't Handle a Social Media Crisis

Some sobering yet expected data came out of global communications research and consulting firm Weber Shandwick. According to the data, lawyers in both the U.K. and the U.S. agreed that firm reputation was a company's most valuable asset with a 91 percent agreement; and that social media greatly increased the chances of an all out-crisis (85 percent increase).

And yet, for some reason, the very same pool of lawyers seem to think that the purported social media crises they all seem to agree is a problem is not their problem, but someone else's. This illusory superiority example goes to show that even lawyers aren't immune to self-delusion.

SEC Announces $325,000 Whistleblowing Award

The SEC just announced a $325,000 award given to a former investment firm employee who blew the whistle to the SEC with specific information that allowed the federal agency to begin an investigation that later uncovered extensive fraudulent activity at the tipster's ex-employer.

Intellectual Property Highlights From the TPP Text

The full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement was released November 5, 2015. It was many years in the running -- seven years, basically -- but the masterpiece is finally available for public scrutiny. The Agreement extends its tentacles into approximately 40 percent of the world's annual GDP and almost 1 billion people's lives. Obviously, businesses are some of its greatest proponents.

CFTC: Adopt New Security Measures, Or Else?

Congress created the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in 1974 to, alongside the National Futures Association, oversee commodities trading in this country. Since then, the CFTC's regulatory power has expanded further and further.

Last month, the CFTC greenlit the latest strap-tightening policy suggestions by the NFA: members of the NFA "should" implement stronger cybersecurity policies. f you're in the commodities or derivatives industry, get ready to make some changes.

Merger of Viagra Maker and Allergan Could Be Biggest of 2015

Share prices of Allergan exploded out of the opening bell and topped out with an almost 8 percent gain over the stock's closing. It's been a good several trading days for the Ireland-based pharmaceutical company.

The lastest jump in prices has been attributed to "preliminary friendly discussions" regarding Pfizer's proposed takeover of Allergan. If the deal goes through, it stands poised to be largest takeover deal of 2015.

When corporations break the law, individuals will be held accountable. That's the gist of a DOJ memo released this month affirming the Department's commitment to pursuing individuals for corporate wrongdoing. (It's almost like the saw the VW emissions fraud coming, or finally learned from years of criticism over their handling of Wall Street rule breaking.)

The so-called Yates memo, named after its author, Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates, marks a notable change from past practice. It sets out "six key steps" to strengthen the Department's focus on individuals when investigating corporate wrongs. Here are the highlights: