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California dreams are often more like nightmares for many in-house counsel. In-house counsel have a largely negative view of the state's litigation and regulatory climate, according to a new survey by the law firm Archer Norris.

In-house lawyers perceive litigation as a greater risk in California than other states. The state's legal environment is "hella burdensome," they claim.

Violating the Americans with Disabilities Act is a simple way to end up on the losing end of a lawsuit. Fail to comply with ADA public accommodation requirements and you could find yourself sued for counters that are too high, aisles that are too narrow, and now, even websites that are inaccessible to people with disabilities.

The Department of Justice announced way back in 2010 that it was revising ADA regulations to ensure accessibility and nondiscrimination on the Internet. Five years later, little headway has been made. Don't let that trick you into complacency, however. In the DOJ's view, the ADA already applies to the Internet. Responsible GCs should ensure that their company websites are ADA accessible sooner rather than later.

In-house counsel know how difficult claims of retaliation against whistleblowers can be. Those issues can become even worse when it's a fired in-house lawyer making the retaliation claim.

That's what happened to Sanford Wadler, fired GC for Bio-Rad Laboratories. Wadler claims he was terminated after attempting to report corrupt practices to the company's board. The case raises important questions about how much the attorney can disclose about his former employer and client in order to prove his case.

Tips and complaints to the SEC's whistleblower program continue to grow at record pace, even if the Commission has been slow to pay out whistleblower awards. With more tips, come more claims of retaliation. More than one out of every five whistleblower reports some form of retaliation.

Those retaliation claims, the salt in the wound of an SEC investigation, can have stiff penalties, given the new protections afforded whistleblowers by the Dodd-Frank Act. But retaliation complaints are avoidable if a company has the proper procedures and policies in place. Here are five tips to help you stave off claims of retaliation:

On-call scheduling has become increasingly common among large employers, especially in the retail industry. Under an on-call scheduling system, employees set aside work hours and check in before their schedule to make sure they're needed. It allows employers greater flexibility in scheduling, but can leave workers with unpredictable schedules and incomes.

GC's who've given the practice a green light might want to start rethinking things. On-call scheduling could soon become more of a liability than a benefit. An investigation in New York and a class action in California both threaten to hit companies that use on-call scheduling with millions of dollars in backpay and other fines.

Zap! Pow! Bang! In a legal dust up between one of the world's biggest superhero sidekicks and a major pop star, D.C. Comics is opposing Rihanna's attempt to trademark her given name. In an effort to bring more product lines under her umbrella -ella -ella, the singer has filed for trademark protection for her given name, Robyn.

The comic book company claims that the trademarked name could cause confusion with Batman's sidekick, Robin. D.C. Comics holds the trademark for Robin in relation to action figures and comics, according to Inside Counsel.

PayPal, the online payment company owned by Ebay, has agreed to pay $25 million to settle claims stemming from its "Bill Me Later" program. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau had accused PayPal of refusing to honor the advertised terms of its online credit product, signing customers up for credit without their permission, and failing to properly manage its credit and billing system.

Thankfully, PayPal's failure can be your inspiration, as there's plenty to learn from the company's credit debacle.

When you buy a "designer" bag out of the back of a van, you probably realize it's a knockoff. That might not be the case when you purchase a similar bag online, where counterfeit goods can proliferate without the buyer being able to check every monogram, button and zipper to see if the item is the real deal, or just a rip-off.

For companies involved in online markets and e-commerce, and their legal departments, counterfeit goods can cause major headaches. Take Alibaba for example. The enormous Chinese e-commerce company is currently being sued by Kering SA, the enormous French luxury brand company behind Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, which alleges Alibaba knowingly traffics in counterfeit goods.

It's not just telemarketers that are at risk of being sued under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Any company that makes customer phone calls, sends texts or faxes faxes could be open to liability under the TCPA. The TCPA prohibits unsolicited advertising by phone, text and fax. It provides $500 to $1,500 for each violation, plus allows for the recovery of lawyer fees and costs.

TCPA lawsuits are a booming business. For a plaintiff's side class action firm, a company's TCPA slip up can be a windfall. There's even apps that help consumers convert unwanted calls straight into lawsuits. Thankfully, a vigilant in-house legal department can help reduce the risks of unexpected TCPA litigation.

It's bad enough when low-level employees open the company up to litigation through thoughtless behavior. It's even worse when it's an executive. AT&T got a reminder of just how embarrassing, and potentially expensive that can be. The telecom company is facing a $100 million employee discrimination suit over racist texts and images allegedly sent by Aaron Slator, the company's (now former) president of content and advertising sales.

AT&T isn't the only company to have suffered from an high level employee's poor behavior. Is there anything, besides triage, that can be done to stop executives behaving badly before the lawsuits come in?