In House

Data Is Talking, but Is Your Legal Department Listening?

By Joy Saphla |

Data has a lot to say in today's world, if you know how to speak its language. Businesspeople have become highly fluent, but what about the legal department? Most legal professionals are still stumbling around like tourists in foreign capitals slowly thumbing through the guidebook of common phrases. By understanding what data has to say, legal professionals can collect and analyze information in order to support the underlying business (their clients) with smarter decisions. And this fluency leads to improved risk management and results.

Thomas Sager

The Legal Profession Needs More Givers Than Takers

By Thomas L. Sager |

Those of us who are old hands at practicing law have much to learn from a brilliant young professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania about improving our industry's long-term outlook. Adam Grant—the youngest tenured professor at Wharton—has recently published a book titled "Give and Take," which is generating considerable buzz in the business world. He explores the types of interactions we have with others at work and illustrates how people who give without expecting any payoff can transform entire organizations and communities.

Kim M. Watterson and Richard L. Heppner

Making Sense of Class Actions After 'Braun' and 'Dukes'

By Kim M. Watterson and Richard Heppner Jr. |

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently affirmed a $187 million jury award to a class of Pennsylvania Wal-Mart employees in Braun v. Wal-Mart Stores, No. 32 EAP 2012, __ A.3d ___ (Pa. 2014). Commenters have suggested Braun conflicts with the U.S. Supreme Court's holding in Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes, 131 S.Ct. 2541 (2011), that a class may be certified only when the individual class members' claims are susceptible to common proof without reliance on statistical evidence.

Teleicia J.R. Dambreville

Plan and Respond to Protect Against Retaliation Claims

By Teleicia J.R. Dambreville |

Retaliation claims are the most common employment-related suits filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Since 1997, retaliation claims have been on a steady rise, and in 2013, such claims made up 41.1 percent of all charges filed with the EEOC, according to its own statistics. Because all of the laws enforced by the EEOC, which prohibit discrimination in employment, also prohibit retaliation in any aspect of employment, employers are highly susceptible to retaliation claims. Employers must take proactive steps to train managers, supervisors and human resources personnel to protect themselves against the ever-increasing liability of retaliation lawsuits.

Close up of human hands pushing keys of laptop

Understanding Ethics and Obligations Regarding Global Big Data

By Tara Lawler and Laura Kibbe |

It is a basic tenet of professional responsibility that lawyers obtain sufficient proficiency to ensure competent representation of their clients. The challenge in today's world of Big Data and corporate globalization and outsourcing of IT infrastructure is that the level of technological proficiency required is not always clear. Understanding your obligations and establishing defensible processes will be necessary to fully demonstrate competence in discovery should an issue arise.