Featured Columns

divorce decree

Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts in Event of a Divorce

Scott J.G. Finger and Jennifer A. Kosteva | July 31, 2015

When a married parent creates an irrevocable trust for the benefit of his or her children, the married parent, as the creator or settlor of the trust, often provides for his or her spouse to have certain rights with respect to the trust. For example, the settlor may name his or her spouse as a trustee of the trust or include the spouse as an income beneficiary of the trust during the spouse's lifetime, with the principal being held for the benefit of the children.

In-House Counsel

  • What the Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Means for Employers

    By Bennett Kaspar

    The U.S. Supreme Court in June ruled in a 5-4 decision that the equal protection guarantee provided by the 14th Amendment to opposite-sex marriages extends to same-sex marriages. The opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, holds that "same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry in all states" and that there is "no lawful basis for a state to refuse to recognize a lawful same-sex marriage performed in another state on the ground of its same-sex character."

  • Revising Nondisclosure and Nondisparagement Clauses

    By Amanda D. Haverstick

    Over the past several months, a broad array of executive branch agencies have all come down the same way against the same wording of employers' nondisclosure and nondisparagement provisions, whether found in severance and settlement agreements, confidentiality agreements with employees or contractors, or witness statements in internal investigations. What once was considered the industry gold standard for these clauses is now just the opposite. And the stakes are high. An employer's use of invalid language can lead to regulatory enforcement action, court litigation and potentially hefty fines and sanctions. The combined authority of the agencies making waves for employers in this area also is far-reaching. Virtually every employer is a potential target, whether public, private, union, nonunion, financial industry, federal contractor or otherwise. All employers should review the language of their confidentiality and nondisparagement clauses and reword them to accord with the new agency standards.

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Young Lawyer

  • How to Harness Emotional Intelligence to Ensure Success

    By Dena Lefkowitz

    The new animated movie "Inside Out" takes the audience inside the brain of an 11-year-old girl named Riley, where her responses to situations are governed by five emotions personified. They are Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust, and they vie for command of the internal control center to influence Riley's behavior. When her family moves to San Francisco from Minnesota, where she was a happy part of a community, hockey team and circle of friends, Joy and Sadness get lost. Difficulties with the move ensue and all of the developments are seen through the lens of Fear, Anger and Disgust. Riley behaves accordingly, to the consternation of her parents, who are used to seeing their daughter with Joy primarily at the helm. They don't understand or know how to respond to her new attitude.

  • How to Start Out Successfully on Your First Day of Work

    By Justin J. Koterba

    The first day at your new job can be an anxiety-provoking yet exciting time, and the first few years of your legal career can be some of the most important of your professional life. You will gain experience in several areas of the law, hoping to find your calling and specialize in a practice. You will develop business relationships with colleagues, clients and other leaders that you will (hopefully) maintain throughout your career. You will work long hours. You will finally get to make money. And, of course, while you are learning the practice of law, you will be judged by your superiors to see if you have the skills that make a successful attorney. This article offers practical advice on what to expect and how to have a successful start to your career now that you have found your first job.

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Business of Law

  • Five Things an Associate May Not Tell Partners in Their Firm

    By Frank Michael D'Amore

    This month's column is the second in a series that examines "five things" that various key people in the practice of law may not volunteer to their most interested audience. I analyze five things that associates are unlikely to tell partners in their firms.

  • Five Things Your In-House Client Is Unlikely to Tell You

    By Frank Michael D'Amore

    This month's column is the first in a series that examines "five things" that various key persons in the practice of law may not volunteer to their most interested audience. We commence with five things that in-house lawyers are unlikely to tell the private practice lawyers with whom they work.

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  • Local Counsel and the UIDDA: Must You Retain? Should You Retain?

    By Mark E. Seiberling and Joshua J. Voss

    The Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act (UIDDA) does not require attorneys to retain local counsel in order to domesticate subpoenas across state lines, but practical considerations should have you picking up the phone to engage local representation.

  • Post-Closing Control of Seller's Attorney-Client Privilege in M&A

    By Kenneth L. Racowski

    Litigation involving mergers, asset acquisitions or other change-in-control transactions can give rise to complicated questions concerning the attorney-client privilege. In recent years, a developing body of case law has emerged regarding the control of the attorney-client privilege in the context of mergers and acquisitions.

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