CEOAugustA Note from the CEO...
By: Joel Stern, NAMWOLF
Hello everyone and Happy New Year! Here's wishing all of you a healthy and happy 2016 both professionally and personally. I hope we see many of you at our New Orleans Business Meeting, February 21 -23. We have a great agenda lined up with several sessions aligned by practice areas, two great keynote speakers, plenty of networking opportunities and a little bit of time to have fun with a great group of folks passionate about diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.   I'm sure many of you made your New Year's resolutions in January. This year, rather than making my usual (and often unsuccessful) promises to myself to lose weight, eat healthier, watch less television, and win more of my tennis matches, I focused my 2016 resolutions on something that has always been very important to me - our youth.  As many of you know, legacy is very important to me. The older I get, the more I want to give back.  Whether it's my three daughters, people who worked for or with me, or people I just come across day to day, I am focused on leaving a little bit of me (hopefully positive) with the folks I interact with. I'm guessing many baby boomers can relate to this. It's why pipeline diversity has always been so important to me.
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MomentChairA Moment With Our Chair
By: Robin A. Wofford, Board Chair, NAMWOLF
Being Different Is What Makes Us the Best
I was asked to write a column for the NAMWOLF newsletter and began to think in earnest, "What should I say?  What message do I want to share? "   The answer was simple; I wanted to explain why our uniqueness as individuals and business owners makes us such a powerful force in the legal profession. I wanted people to realize that our success as an organization and as individual firms is built on three very significant truths:
1.       In order for this organization to succeed we must trust each other as if we were family, partners or co-workers.
2.       We must respect each other's differences and the struggles that got us here.
3.       We must think of others before we think of ourselves.  ( Click here to keep reading )
ExpectWhat to Expect at NAMWOLF's 2016 Business Meeting in New Orleans
By: Joshua Brown, Lee & Kinder LLC, Denver, Colorado
We are all very excited for the up-and-coming Business Meeting taking place in New Orleans on February 21st-23 rd.  The Business Meeting is attended by Law Firm Members, in addition to a fast growing number of In-House Counsel, who are dedicated to the mission and vision of NAMWOLF and work with us to help us in identifying and achieving our goals. As a first time attendee last year, I can confirm that it served as a great opportunity to increase my firm's participation and relationships with NAMWOLF Law Firms, attend CLE and network with in-house lawyers. Here are some of the highlights from this year's Business Meeting.  ( Click here to keep reading )
NBCCorporate Spotlight: NBCUniversal
By: Frances Browne; Brody & Browne LLP; New York, New York
NBCUniversal, a dedicated member of NAMWOLF, is one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience.  Diversity is one of the company's core values.  NBCUniversal's diversity and inclusion efforts include offering leadership and development programs targeting diverse talent.  The company is home to numerous diverse pipeline programs for journalists, writers, directors, actors, producers, comedians and more.  For example, the company annually hosts the NBC Short Film Festival and Standup NBC as means to discover diverse voices in film and comedy.  And, as is increasingly important in a digital age, the company utilizes social media platforms, such as Twitter (@NBCUdiversity), to foster dialogue and publicize diversity success stories. (Click here to keep reading)
CKSSpotlight Member Firm: 
Courington, Kiefer & Sommers, New Orleans, Louisiana
By: Susan Koval -- Nemeth Law, P.C., Detroit, Michigan
Courington, Kiefer & Sommers, L.L.C. is a Gulf-South NAMWOLF firm of defense litigators with offices in New Orleans, Louisiana and Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  The firm offers services in litigation, mediation, national and regional coordination, and defense of all types of personal injury cases including Workers' Compensation cases, Jones Act suits, Longshore cases and Mass and Toxic Torts in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas as well as property damage cases. 
  1.      When was the firm founded and who are the firm's founders?
Courington, Kiefer & Sommers, L.L.C. was founded in 2011 by Kaye N. Courington. Kaye has been a lawyer for 27 years. Her impressive experience includes trying hundreds of claims in seven trials in Louisiana and Mississippi. Six of the trials involved mass litigation of 10 to 129 plaintiffs (the longest jury trial in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana history). In her capacity as National Coordinating Counsel for a major client of the firm, she helps oversee litigation across the country.  (Click here to keep reading)
Younassi
Spotlight Member Firm:  Younossi Law (San Francisco, CA) 
By Susan Koval, Nemeth Law, P.C., Detroit, Michigan  
For over a decade, Younossi Law has been helping companies bring the best talent to the United States and achieve their goals in business immigration matters. Younossi Law has extensive experience with clients ranging from startups to Fortune 500 multinationals and specializes exclusively in corporate immigration related matter.
1.      When was the firm founded and who are the firm's founders?
Helena S. Younossi founded the firm and has extensive experience helping companies --  from startups to Fortune 500 multinationals -- with their U.S. business immigration matters, including employee work authorizations, I-9 IRCA Compliance, M&A, LCA Compliance, Immigration Program and Policy development, as well as Consular and Global work visa coordination. She also represents individuals and families in their immigration related needs.   ( Click here to keep reading )
Getting More Out of NAMWOLF:  GET ENGAGED
Gettingmore
By: Sandy Sakamoto; Lim, Ruger & Kim, LLP; Los Angeles, California
The Membership Engagement & Outreach Committee welcomes all law firm members who are interested in taking a more active role in NAMWOLF.  The Committee is focused on engaging members in key areas to enhance your firm's NAMWOLF experience.  We have a call monthly and everyone is welcome to participate and learn about ways to get involved.  Also, please join us at the Business Meeting in New Orleans and participate in round table discussions on Cross Marketing efforts, New Member Mentoring, Law Firm Management issues and programs, the Emerging Leaders programs, Marketing Best Practices efforts, and Communications (including the NAMWOLF Newsletter) to generate some new ideas and programs.  This is a great way to be introduced to other members and be introduced to leadership positions within NAMWOLF.  SAVE THE DATE AND TIME FOR THE MEO SESSION IN NOLA!!   TUESDAY FEBRUARY 23, 2016 @ 9:35 am - 10:35 am. 
Support NAMWOLF Through The National Development Committee
NationalDevelopment
By: John Murdock; Benton Potter & Murdock; Washington, D.C.
Happy New Year from the National Development Committee!  The 2015 sponsorship campaign was phenomenally successful in dollars raised, number of corporate, vendor, and law firm sponsors, and the feedback that we received from vendor sponsors about their NAMWOLF experience and return on investment.  Credit goes to so many people, including the NAMWOLF staff team, members of the Development Committee, NAMWOLF in-house counsel members who encouraged their companies to sponsor, NAMWOLF law firm member attorneys who encouraged their firms to sponsor, and each of you who encouraged vendors to sponsor.  Also, kudos to our Vendor Ambassadors who established a one-on-one relationship with vendors and made sure that vendors had every opportunity to connect with NAMWOLF members to show their services and other offerings.  
( Click here to keep reading )
LetsTalkLet's Talk about Sex, Baby! - What to Consider When Tackling the Investigation of a Sexual Harassment Complaint  
By: Elizabeth Carter; Hill, Hill, Carter, Franco, Cole & Black, P.C.; Montgomery, Alabama 
Submitted by the Labor & Employment PAC

In the words of a late partner of mine who was full of great wisdom - "Gal, you cannot go wrong handling sex cases because they are never going away."  How true!  However, it seems that this growth industry has come in the form of requests for internal sexual harassment complaints--not EEOC charges and lawsuits.  The EEOC reports sexual harassment charges are slightly down in the last few years.  Some attribute this decrease to the Vance v. Ball State University decision, in which the US Supreme Court adopted a narrow opinion of the term "supervisor" for Title VII purposes (further decreasing the number of incidents wherein an employer could be held strictly liable for the actions of the alleged harasser). 133 S.Ct. 2434 (2013). ( Click here to keep reading )
CreatureA CREATURE OF OUR OWN MAKING: WASHINGTON'S INSURANCE FAIR CONDUCT ACT   By: Diane L. Polscer; Gordon & Polscer, L.L.C.; Portland, Oregon
Submitted by the Insurance PAC
The words "bad faith" are found in few, if any, insurance policies.  Nevertheless, the insurance industry has grown accustomed to this concept, as courts have long read obligations and penalties between the lines of insurance policies.  Recently, legislatures in some states began to join this effort, creating statutory claims that can asserted by policyholders against insurers.  The biggest hammer for policyholders created so far may be the Insurance Fair Conduct Act passed in the state of Washington in 2007, which allows recovery of three times the policyholder's "actual damages" without any cap.  RCW 48.30.015. ( Click here to keep reading )
ERISA
2016 Brings New ERISA Risks in M & A Transactions: Steps to Take Before your Next Deal
Submitted by the Transactional PAC
Mergers and acquisitions activity continued to flourish in 2015 - as did the legal developments affecting employee benefit plans in the M&A context.   This article provides a brief summary of some of these new developments, as well as some practical steps that can be taken in order to mitigate the M&A risks for both buyers and sellers.
1.       ERISA Successor Liability Imposed in 2 Recent Circuits Involving Asset Sales.  Two recent cases in the 7th and the 9th Circuits have held that successors in an asset sale transaction can be held liable under ERISA's withdrawal liability provisions (which apply to employers that contribute to multi-employer pension plans).   Successor liability for asset buyers in the labor and employment context is not unheard of - prior cases have held that asset purchasers can be liable under ERISA if there is both a continuation of the business and the purchaser was on notice about the liability.   However, these two cases take this a bit further.  First, in Tsareff v. ManWeb Services, Inc., 794 F. 3 rd 841 (7 th Cir. 7/27/2015), the 7 th Circuit held that a purchaser could be on "notice" of the liability even if the liability was only contingent.  Then, the 9 th circuit followed suit by imposing liability in a situation where the buyer retained seller's customers, even though no customer lists were sold.  Resilient Floor Covering Pension Trust Fund v Michael's Floor Covering, Inc., 801 F. 3 rd 1079 (9 th Cir. 9/11/2015).  ( Click here to keep reading
ImmigrationImmigration Basics
By:  James Stillwaggon and Aida Diaz-Silveira, Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira LLP, Miami, Florida
The primary objectives of US immigration law have long been to foster family unity and to ameliorate shortages of skilled workers in the US.  As a result, two predominant categories of immigration to the US have emerged:
·         Family-sponsored immigration; and
·         Employment-based immigration.
The first step for an intending immigrant is to find an immigration category for which he or she qualifies.  Except for immediate family members of US citizens and the most exceptional employees, the immigration process often takes many months and sometimes years to complete.
This note will briefly describe the most commonly used Employment-based immigrant visa categories and usual qualifying procedures.  ( 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 -
 
The First Quarter 2016 NAMWOLF Newsletter includes a preview from the upcoming Business Meeting in New Orleans plus information and articles from a variety of our PACs and committees. Please read, enjoy and CIRCULATE this email to all the members of your firm or organization.
 
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), 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, our own Jane Kalata (NAMWOLF).
 
This issue also marks the end of my tenure as Co-Editor. It has been a pleasure and as you can see, our publication is in very capable hands.
 
As always, please feel free to share your comments and suggestions.

Sonjui Kumar

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