Featured Columns

Transgender Employee Access to Restrooms in the Workplace

Amber N. Morton | July 2, 2015

Employers with transgender employees should be aware of recent developments in the interpretation of laws for transgender employees, especially in relation to an employee's access to restroom facilities while at work. Title VII and the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) provide protections for transgender employees in the workplace. As discussed in more detail below, employers are required to grant unrestricted restroom access and use according to an employee's full-time gender presentation. The following provides a brief explanation of the law and the steps an employer can take to ensure that all employees remain comfortable in using restroom facilities.

In-House Counsel

  • In-House Litigators: Hire Outside Help, but Stay in Control

    By Dan Currell and Aaron Kotok

    Earlier this year, advisory company CEB brought together 20 heads of litigation from large companies to discuss the latest research on effective litigation management. The conversations we had over the course of that day weren't a surprise to us; the challenges and frustrations of in-house litigators are pretty well known. But when we looked back over our notes, we saw a theme that did surprise us: Corporate litigation suffers from a lack of leadership. When litigation goes badly, it's because no one knows who’s in the driver’s seat.

  • Law Firms and GCs Finding Value in Alternative Billing

    By Lisa Goldstein

    It's been over 20 years since corporate legal departments publicly asked for alternative fees when DuPont Legal began the trend with its convergence model. The former general counsel for DuPont and current partner at Ballard Spahr, Tom Sager, was the frontrunner in implementing alternative fee arrangements, or AFAs, and said "the impetus for this was a mass tort explosion confronting DuPont and with it the compelling need to drive efficiency, reduce costs and incentivize the firms for outstanding results." During his time at DuPont, Sager's team converted 70 percent of its matters at its high-water mark, he said. These were not discounted hourly rates; instead, the AFAs were either a flat fee or a flat fee with a holdback and contingency bonus. Over time, some companies followed DuPont's lead, but the real push for AFAs occurred after the 2008 financial crisis and recession. Since then, corporations have become increasingly more budget-conscious and have requested value-based billing.

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Young Lawyer

  • Providing Origination Credit Incentivizes Future Rainmakers

    By The YL Editorial Board

    Law firm compensation has been and will remain a hot topic in the legal community. Prior to 1987, when Legal affiliate The American Lawyer began ranking the nation's largest law firms, figures such as gross firm revenue, revenue per lawyer, profits per equity partner and associate starting salaries may have been less likely to influence a young lawyer or law student's career decisions. Although many young lawyers now pay particular attention to the aforementioned metrics, many are still in the dark when it comes to how they will be compensated when their business development efforts bear fruit.

  • Cultivate Optimism to Grow Your Practice and Your Life

    By Dena Lefkowitz

    Are you a natural optimist? When adversity strikes, do you tell yourself it's temporary and not your fault and consider all of the things in your life that are going well despite the one setback? Or do you chalk it up to inherent personal failings and give up? Evidence shows that if you tend to the former, you have a greater chance at being happier and more successful in business. If you tend toward the latter, it's not too late to change that habit.

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Business of Law

  • 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.

  • When You Should Pick Up the Phone (and Not Text or Email)

    By Frank Michael D'Amore

    We surely are communicating at record levels in our 24/7, always-on-demand world. As hard as this is to believe for some, many readers of this column can recall the days when one could go home at night and be fairly confident that there would be no interaction with colleagues or clients until the next day (or more, if a weekend were ahead). Yes—no texts, email, cellphones, voicemail, or, as archaic as this seems—not even an answering machine in existence; unless someone came to your home or happened to reach you live on the phone, you were off-limits.

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Litigation

  • 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.

  • Rights and Obligations of Nonsignatories in Arbitration: Part I

    By Abraham J. Gafni

    It is generally understood that the obligation to submit to arbitration (unless mandated by statute or court rule) arises by reason of a written (and occasionally oral) contractual obligation entered into by the parties.

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