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Hayes Hunt and Arthur P. Fritzinger

The Rise and Risk of Obstructionist Discovery Tactics

By Hayes Hunt and Arthur P. Fritzinger |

With fewer trials and an increasing focus on using the discovery process to leverage a favorable settlement or resolution, it is common for litigation counsel to be obstructionist during discovery. For example, counsel may interpose depositions with unwarranted boilerplate objections or subtly (or not so subtly) coach the witness by clarifying or commenting on the pending question. While such conduct is often ignored, it has contributed to rising litigation costs throughout the last decade and, as a sanctions order issued at the end of July by a federal judge in the Northern District of Iowa demonstrates, it can severely diminish counsel's credibility before the trial judge. In light of the impact that discovery tactics can have on the cost and success of litigation, it is increasingly important for general counsel to set clear expectations when retaining attorneys to represent the company in litigation.

What to Expect When Your Employees Are Expecting

By Tiffani L. McDonough |

Does an employer have to provide a modified work schedule to a pregnant employee with morning sickness or light duty to a pregnant employee with lifting restrictions? The answer depends on who you ask. Most federal courts say no, but the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says yes. Fortunately for employers, resolution of this issue is on the horizon.

10 Tips to Increase Your Chances for a Successful Mediation

By Steven Atlee and Diana Cho |

If you're headed to a mediation, you're in good company. A recent study of more than 350 Fortune 1000 companies showed that nearly all of them have used mediation in the last three years to resolve a dispute. Compared to other dispute resolution mechanisms, mediation can be attractive for any number of reasons, not the least of which is that you are the master of your own fate and you have the opportunity to resolve matters early on—privately and without the extended costs and risks of litigation.

Avoiding Discovery Disputes Over Attorney-Client Privilege

By David J. Bird |

Companies often wind up in disputes concerning the discovery of reports, memoranda, emails and other documents written by their in-house lawyers in connection with prospective business transactions. Such disputes can raise difficult questions about the scope of the attorney-client communication privilege. No matter what the expectations of in-house lawyers and company executives, it can be hard to predict whether a court will shield such documents from discovery or compel them to be produced to other parties. And the disclosure of potentially privileged documents containing sensitive information and advice can have serious ramifications—not only for a specific case but for a company's long-term interests and objectives.

Larry Hayes

Q&A Session With Larry Hayes, General Counsel of QVC

The following is a transcript of a radio program hosted jointly by Executive Leaders Radio and The Legal.

What You Need to Know About Corporate Designee Depositions

By Hayes A. Hunt and Joshua N. Ruby |

In a world where the overwhelming majority of cases never make it to trial, depositions take on outsized importance.

When to Conduct an Audit and When to Just Fix the Problem

By Jill Hyman Kaplan and Matthew C. Sullivan |

Environmental or safety compliance audits can be great tools to determine compliance status, assess whether programs or departments are operating as they should, and to educate and train employees. But if there is not management commitment and sufficient resources available to address the audit findings, an audit has the potential to create more harm than good. While certain audits or components of them may be able to be protected by attorney-client privilege, that does not necessarily address the potential liability of knowing there is a problem and not addressing it.

Stephanie

Using Technology for Successful Information Governance

By Tess Blair, Tara Lawler and Laura Kibbe |

Most organizations have exploding volumes of data scattered throughout the company in various data sources: email, hard drives, shared drives, SharePoint, structured databases, wikis and the cloud.

Veta Richardson

Women and Corporate Law Departments

Veta Richardson, president and CEO of the Association of Corporate Counsel, addresses The Legal Intelligencer's Women in the Profession luncheon. In this video, Richardson discusses the growth of women corporate counsel, and the progress that still needs to be made.

Amanda Haverstick

Do Due Diligence Before Deciding What to Tell the Board

By Amanda D. Haverstick |

When providing day-to-day advice to corporate general counsel and other top executives, the question invariably arises: "What do I need to report to the board and when?" On an abstract level, the answer is, of course, "It depends." But the "it depends" almost always involves consideration of the same set of factors--no matter what the particular issue, company, or industry. As a board adviser, you should educate yourself beforehand on the factors that inform the "to tell or not to tell the board" question. Below are three recommended steps toward that end.