CEOAugustA Note from the CEO...
By: Joel Stern, NAMWOLF

Hello everyone,
It's been another great year for NAMWOLF. At our Business Meeting in February, I will highlight our 2015 accomplishments as well as our goals for 2016. The key in 2016 is to keep the momentum going and that's going to take a lot of effort and hard work from all of us.
 
In September, we held our Annual Meeting in Hollywood. Thanks to many including our great co-chairs Mark Tarrango and Will Delgado who not only played a large role in planning the event but also were the stars of the gala. It was our largest meeting attended and the post-meeting comments were overwhelmingly positive. We are working hard to make our 2016 Houston Annual Meeting even better and the bar has been set very high. Thank you to those of you who provided responses to our survey. We spend a lot of time reviewing the comments and focusing in on areas we want to improve and that process is underway. ( Click here to keep reading
HowtoNavigate
NAMWOLF Annual Meeting: How to Navigate the NAMWOLF Annual Meeting from a New Member's Perspective
By: Lauren Hunt, Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira LLP, Miami, Florida

"80 percent of success is just showing up" - Woody Allen. Woody Allen has it right. As first-time attendees of the 2015 NAMWOLF Annual Meeting, my partners and I did not know what to expect, but we were excited to show up! We wanted to participate in the conference and get to know the other attendees. We came with open minds, knowing that we were starting our journey with NAMWOLF that would not begin and end in one meeting. What we found was a meeting unlike any law firm conference we have ever attended. Our fellow members were impressive, the social events were unique and fun, the CLE programming was varied, the law firm expo was educational and the speakers were inspirational. From the start, there was a feeling of inclusion, and it became clear as the meeting continued that this was not by accident. ( Click here to keep reading)
SpotlightChristian
Spotlight Member Firm:  Christian, Dichter & Sluga, P.C. (Arizona and Nevada)
By Timothy Reckart, Rusing Lopez & Lizardi, PLLC, Tucson, Arizona
 
We had the pleasure of meeting Alison Christian, a shareholder of Christian, Dichter & Sluga, P.C., at the Annual Meeting this past September. Because both of our firms are based in Arizona, we had that commonality as an opener. It was apparent within the first moments of our meeting that Alison Christian embodies the essential characteristics of NAMWOLF itself: a genuine commitment to partnership and inclusion. The environment of NAMWOLF exists because of the dedication and honesty of all its members and firms like Christian, Dichter & Sluga, P.C., typify the quality of those individuals involved. Ms. Christian's answers to our spotlight questions not only highlight her firm, Christian, Dichter & Sluga, P.C., but too, accentuate the mission of equality that NAMWOLF exemplifies. ( Click here to keep reading)

HillHillCarter
Spotlight Member Firm:  Hill Hill Carter (Montgomery, AL)
By Susan Koval, Nemeth Law, P.C., Detroit, Michigan
 
Hill Hill Carter is a full-service firm capable of serving any legal need one may encounter. In fact, most clients who come to the firm with a specific legal concern end up as lifelong clients, utilizing the full range of services from estate, tax and business planning to all manners of complex litigation. The firm provides legal advice and representation to public and private entities in a wide range of practice areas, including employment and constitutional matters, business litigation, aviation, trucking liability, real estate, insurance defense, mass tort litigation and antitrust litigation.   With offices in Montgomery, Alabama and Louisville, Kentucky, the firm serves as counsel for regional, national and international companies. Although the size of the firm and the complexity of its practice have increased over the years, the firm's dedication to legal excellence, integrity, and the welfare of its clients remains unchanged. (Click here to keep reading) 
Reptile
Combating Reptile Tactics in Litigation
By: Beth C. Boggs -- Boggs, Avellino, Lach & Boggs, LLC, St. Louis, Missouri | Submitted on behalf of the Trials PAC

Reptile: The 2009 Manual of the Plaintiff's Revolution is a highly influential text for the modern plaintiff's lawyer.  Written by David Ball, a North Carolina jury consultant, and Don Keenan, an Atlanta plaintiffs' lawyer, it describes a litigation strategy for plaintiffs that has come to be known as "the Reptile Theory" or "Reptile Tactics."  The strategy is designed to appeal to jurors' fears and prejudices, so that that their decisions will be driven by their instincts and emotions.  In a short span of time, the strategy it espouses has proliferated.  Defense attorneys have also proposed various ways to counter its use.  One straightforward method is to expose Reptile Tactics as basically Golden Rule arguments in new clothes, and bar their use through motions in limine. (Click here to keep reading)
SECWC
SEC Order Finds Confidentiality Mandate During Internal Investigation May Impede Whistleblower Protections
By Preston L. Pugh, Pugh, Jones, Johnson, Chicago, Illinois | Submitted on behalf of the White Collar Defense and Internal Investigations Practice Area Committee
 
Conducting an effective internal investigation is a delicate task, and employers often seek to prevent employees from discussing a pending investigation for a number of lawful reasons.  However, a recent SEC order is cause for concern about imposing confidentiality obligations that may discourage lawful whistleblowing.

The KBR Enforcement Action
On April 1, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") reached a settlement in its first enforcement action charging a company with violating whistleblower protection Rule 21F-17 of the Dodd-Frank Act.  Rule 21F-17 prohibits restrictive language in confidentiality agreements that could chill whistleblowing:  ( Click here to keep reading)
EmergingLeadersM
Apply for the Emerging Leaders Mentoring Program!
The Emerging Leaders Mentoring Program is actively seeking applications for mentees and mentors! The Mentor Program allows experienced attorneys to impart professional guidance and practical knowledge to the next generation of NAMWOLF leaders. The Mentee can request a Mentor who is an experienced in-house attorney or an experienced law firm member. The Mentoring Program hopes to create lasting personal relationships between women and minority lawyers to foster long-term career success.

Partners please nominate your younger attorneys (practicing less than 15 years) that you believe would benefit from a NAMWOLF mentor. Placements are made on a rolling basis by geography and practice area, and there is no deadline to apply. While there are no formal guidelines, mentors generally have at least fifteen years of practice experience. Both in-house and law firm mentors are welcome!

Interested? Please contact Janeen N. Lofton (JNL@lgplaw.com), Nicole Torrado (Torrado@sanchez-amador.com) or Lisa Capote (lisa@acplegal.com) for a Mentor/Mentee questionnaire.
FLSA
Employers Must Tread Lightly Over FLSA and Caregiver Classification
By Chandra Davis -- The Employment Law Solution: McFadden Davis, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia | Submitted by the Labor & Employment PAC
               
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in federal, state and local governments. [1] The FLSA requires employers to pay overtime to employees who work more than 40 hours per week at a rate of one-and-one-a-half times those workers hourly rates. [2] Some employees are exempt from the overtime provisions of the FLSA, thus not requiring the employer to pay those employees overtime pay. [3] (Click here to keep reading)

BookofBusinessIITips for Building a Book of Business
By Robert K. Dixon - Wilson Turner Kosmo, LLP, San Diego, Califor nia | Submitted on behalf of Emerging  Leaders

Since building a book of business is vital to thrive in our highly competitive legal industry, we took a moment to meet with rainmakers at NAMWOLF firms.  Here, these elite attorneys offer tips for cultivating a book of business. 

Rainmaking Isn't Developing Business It's Creating Relationships
Everyone's familiar with this scenario:  Your back in your office for the first time after a two-day conference, armed with a pile of business cards, you proceed to send out "nice to meet you" emails to each person you met at the conference.  Now what?  How can you re-engage with someone and continue to build a relationship, even though you only talked to him or her for five minutes?  As Vickie Turner of Wilson Turner Kosmo, LLP explained, during "your encounter-no matter how brief-identify at least one common personal or business interest that you two share.  But you cannot manufacture common interests...it's more important to be authentic, as people can see through phony attempts to build rapport...  [and] when you follow-up with them ask them how they are doing with a certain business interest they identified."  Developing a business relationship, like any relationship, will not happen overnight, so it is important to regularly follow-up in order to develop a personal relationship. (Click here to keep reading)
WebAccessWeb Accessibility: Why Many Entities Are Only a Click Away From Litigation
By John Bosco and Tiffany Anderson --León Cosgrove, LLC, Dallas, Texas and Miami, Florida | Submitted by the Labor & Employment PAC

2015 is the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA").  When the ADA was enacted on July 26, 1990, the internet was in its nascent stage, and e-commerce, online banking, and mobile applications were unheard of.  Unsurprisingly, the ADA and its original implementing regulations lacked specific guidance regarding accessibility for websites and mobile applications.  While guidelines have been proposed, technical accessibility standards have not yet been adopted. [1] Nevertheless, because the internet is the primary point of access to goods and services for many people with disabilities-specifically, the blind, deaf, and mobility impaired-online accessibility has already become a major focus for the Department of Justice ("DOJ"), advocacy groups, and individual litigants.  Hundreds of entities have recently been confronted with the expense and disruption of enforcement agency investigations and/or litigation regarding the failure to provide accessible websites and mobile applications.  For both private and public entities doing business in the United States, the time to address digital accessibility is now. ( Click here to keep reading)
RolltheCredits
Roll the Credits - Law Firms Pull Out All the Stops at the 2015 Expo
By Mary Ann Rojas - Pugh, Jones & Johnson, P.C ., Chicago, Illinois | Submitted on behalf of the Marketing Best Practices Committee

I have attended five annual conferences since my firm joined NAMWOLF in 2011, and it has amazed me to watch the evolution of the Law Firm Expo.  At last month's Expo in Hollywood, attendees engaged in lively conversation while food simmered and drinks flowed at eye-popping booths with clever giveaways.  What was once a reserved gathering of lawyers standing at tables handing out pens has now become the event of the Conference.
 
As a member of NAMWOLF's Marketing Best Practices Committee, I'm sure my colleagues would agree that firms are beginning to step out of their comfort zones.  It is ironic that lawyers who are required to think outside the box when it comes to legal solutions have been slow to show their originality when it comes to the Expo.  Well, I'm happy to report that gone are the days of brochures and mints arranged in formation on the tables. (Click here to keep reading
Vendor Spotlight - MassMutualMassMutual
By: Joshua Brown, Lee & Kinder LLC, Denver, Colorado

Founded in 1851, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyholders. Founded on a single purpose, to help people secure their future and protect the ones they love, more than 160 years later, that commitment remains their guiding principle. The company has a long history of financial strength and strong performance.  

MassMutual ethics and integrity help enhance the quality of life across their communities by supporting education, economic development and community vitality efforts. MassMutual was recognized as a 2015 World's Most Ethical Company® by the Ethisphere Institute, an honor for organizations that continue to raise the bar on ethical leadership and corporate behavior. (Click here to keep reading) 
The Vendor Ambassador ProgramVendAmb
By: Denver Edwards, Bryant Rabbino LLP, New York, New York
Vendors are integral to the success of the programs and events that NAMWOLF offers to its member firms and in-house counsel partners. Put simply, vendor sponsorships help to defray costs and enable NAMWOLF to reduce the cost to in-house counsel so that they can attend NAMWOLF events. In exchange, vendors are able to market their products and services to their target audience - NAMWOLF firms and corporate law departments. ( Click here to keep reading)
Upcoming                  


Upcoming Events...
2016 Business Meeting
February 21  - 23, 2016 
Royal Sonesta 
New Orleans, LA 
REGISTER NOW!

2016 Annual Meeting 
September 14 - 17, 2016
Houston, TX

SAVE THE DATE!

                               
LetterEditors A Letter From the Editors.... 
 
Dear NAMWOLF Members -
 
Attached you will find the Fourth Quarter 2015 NAMWOLF Newsletter which includes highlights from the Annual Meeting in September. We hope you enjoy the issue and please CIRCULATE it to all the members of your firm or organization.
 
We continue to add new members and firms to our staff. Our hard-working Newsletter staff consists of: Susan D. Koval (Nemeth Law, Detroit, MI), Angela France (PCT Law Group, PLLC, Alexandria, Virginia), Crystal Vanderputten (The Livingston Law Firm, Walnut Creek, CA), Oscar Lizardi/Pat Lopez/Tim Reckart (all of Rusing Lopez & Lizardi, Tucson, AZ), Amy Kurson (Reyes Kurson, Chicago, IL), Joshua Brown (Lee + Kinder, Denver, CO), Lauren Hunt (Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira, Miami, FL), Elizabeth Carter (Hill Hill Carter, Montgomery, AL), Frances K. Browne (Brody & Browne, New York, NY) and Michele Desoer (Zuber Lawler & Del Duca, Los Angeles, CA, ) and of course, we could not publish without Jane Kalata (NAMWOLF).
 
Please feel free to share your comments and suggestions. We wish you all a wonderful holiday season.
 
Co-Editors:
Sonjui L. Kumar
Kumar, Prabhu, Patel & Banerjee, LLC - Atlanta, GA
skumar@kppblaw.com 
Jamie Rudman
Sanchez & Amador, LLC - Oakland, CA
rudman@sanchez-amador.com