In House - The FindLaw Corporate Counsel Blog


Will the CDA Save Social Media Companies?

It's the blessing and bane of the internet, but it's as old as the Chinese parable of the farmer and his horses.

The horses go from one misfortune to the next, but the farmer sees a blessing each time. And so it is with internet service providers and the Communications Decency Act.

Internet companies get sued all the time, but that can be a good thing. It's up to the courts to give perspective.

Tampa Bay Rays Sued for Unsolicited Texting

The Tampa Bay Rays are a popular baseball team, but not everybody is a fan.

Chad Fernandez, for example, is suing the team for sending him promotional text messages.

He apparently could have deleted or stopped them, but oh well. Seriously, what will Fernandez do when he gets an unsolicited text from the President of the United States?

Top Legal Challenge for Global Companies

Global companies have global headaches.

From analyzing performance across geographic boundaries to managing finances in emerging markets, it takes way more than a village.

But one thing is clear for law departments: the biggest challenge is ensuring compliance. Here's why:

Death of the Beetle: What to Do When a Company Loses an Icon

The rumors of the Volkswagen Beetle's death are not exaggerated.

Perhaps it's more disturbing that Volkswagen itself is killing the beloved bug. Once the world's best-selling car, next year the Beetle will be no more.

In the eulogy to follow, there has to be some lesson for in-house counsel. After all, somebody has to help the company get through it.

While you may have not even known this industry even existed, the FTC is concerned that a pigment maker's merger with another pigment maker worth an estimated $1.67 billion violates antitrust law. The pigment in question is used to color paints and plastics and other products white, and provide opacity.

And unfortunately for Tronox and National Titanium Dioxide Company (a.k.a. Cristal), the two pigment makers, a recent ruling from the D.C. District Court doesn't bode well. The FTC sought injunctive relief to prevent the merger from going forward because it had already been approved in the EU, China, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere, and the company was proceeding to consummate. The district court agreed with the FTC and approved the injunction pending the full resolution of the FTC's own pending approval process for the merger.

Ripple GC Leaves, Big Case Settles

General counsel come and go, but sometimes it's awkward.

It was about that time for Brynly Llyr, general counsel for a leading cryptocurrency company. Ripple said her departure was a mutual decision.

But industry observers said it was "an awkward time" because the company is embroiled in major class-action cases. It also may have something to do with a settlement in another case against Ripple.

Judge Clears Way for Investor Claims Against Volkswagen

Volkswagen just can't get away from the foul-smelling fallout of Dieselgate.

After settling with regulators last year, it looked like the company could move on from charges that it cheated on emissions tests. Investors also claimed the automaker misled them about compliance with emissions regulations, but a judge dismissed the case.

The judge also gave the plaintiffs leave to amend, however. Now the automaker is back in the thick of it.

For in-house and general counsel for major pharmaceutical companies, the recent deluge of lawsuits against opioid makers, like Purdue Pharmaceuticals, has likely resulted in panics around legal departments from coast to coast.

If you don't know the first thing about Purdue's legal headaches, the local Burlington Free Press article provides a solid summary. But for those outside the pharmaceutical industry who might not be closely following the epidemic of opioid litigation related to the opioid epidemic, below you can read about a few key takeaways that can transfer across industries.

In house and general counsel may be able to glean a lesson about how not to turn an ally into an enemy from the most recent shot fired in the mattress wars. Last year, when Mattress Firm decided to end its relationship with Tempur-Sealy, the makers of the Tempur-Pedic mattress couldn't just lie still.

As the bed-in-a-box ecommerce industry is still soaring, traditional mattress stores are taking a big hit to sales, and that pain is being felt across the industry's major players. But rather than lying awake at night thinking about how to compete in the changed landscape, the purveyor of those premium giant slabs of super comfortable high priced memory foam filed a lawsuit against their former authorized retailer for selling a competitor's lookalike brand that looks and sounds rather similar.

Musk Smokes Weed on Podcast, Revisits Tesla Policy on Drugs

What's a CEO to do when investigators, insiders, and others are calling for his head on a platter?

Smoke a joint, right? Wrong. Sometimes, general counsel just have to tell the boss no.

Using marijuana on personal time is a person's prerogative, but not if your name is Elon Musk. For everybody else, there's good news and bad news.