A Note from the CEO...CEONote
By: Joel Stern, NAMWOLF

Hello NAMWOLF friends,
I can't believe we are already three weeks into 2017! 2016 was a very exciting year for NAMWOLF as we work zealously to further our mission of enhancing diversity and inclusion in our legal profession with a focus on legal supplier diversity. The Board, our in-house counsel advisory council, my amazing team and countless volunteers have put in a lot of time this year to further our cause.  I want to take this time to thank all of them for the dedication and passion they put into NAMWOLF. It is truly an inclusive organization which I'm very proud to be a part of.
We have two very exciting meetings in 2017 including our Business Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale February 12-14. Registration is open so please register and get your room reserved. The meeting is at no cost to in-house and the agenda is lining up very nicely. We have several sessions designed specifically for our law firms and in-house as well as several plenary sessions. I'm thrilled that we have Jeffrey Fox speaking at our meeting. Jeffrey has spent more than 25 years helping companies grow revenue and increase gross margins and has written several books on the NY Times best seller lists. We are confident that this session will not only be very relevant to our law firms but also in-house counsel since we "sell" every day regardless of what position we hold.
We are also piloting a "PITCH" program at the business meeting where 24 firms will be selected to make 15 minute pitches to a panel of in-house counsel, in front of a small audience of other firms and in-house counsel. This pilot, led by Richard Amador, John Murdock and Rick Hammond is designed as a learning experience for our member firms to understand what works and what doesn't work with pitches in front of a live audience. NAMWOLF firms, stay tuned in January for more information with respect to the process.  We have other law firm only sessions including a session on alternative structures to increase utilization of NAMWOLF firms designed to better position all our firms to get business.
For in-house, we have our Advisory Council and Inclusion Initiative sessions where all in-house are invited. We also have MasterCard and Allstate doing a "deep dive" on how they brought NAMWOLF in-house and got the entire legal group excited about legal supplier diversity. The Minority In-House Counsel Association will also be at our meeting and sponsoring a session for in-house counsel.
We also have several Practice Area Committee led CLE sessions and plenty of opportunities to network with both our law firms and in-house.  Please let Jane or me know if you have any questions and thanks to Bacardi Jackson from the Tucker Law Group and Jessica Lewis from Coca Cola for being our 2017 Business Meeting co-chairs.
Finally, I want to wish all of you and your loved ones a very Happy New Year. I hope 2017 is a great year for all of you both professionally and personally.

Corporate Spotlight:  Mastercard Mastercard
By Heather Heft, Schoeman Updike & Kaufman LLP, New York, New York
Mastercard Worldwide is a multinational financial services corporation with a focus on payment products and solutions.  Mastercard holds faithful its values of trust, agility, initiative, and partnership.  Its commitment to NAMWOLF fully realizes these principles.[1]
Trust: We act with integrity and respect; we encourage openness
At the heart of Mastercard's value of trust is its embedded culture of diversity and inclusion.  Evidence of Mastercard's leadership in this field is the many awards that it has received, recognizing its achievements in diversity and inclusion, including the following recent honors:
Outstanding / Financial Times: OUTstanding Leading LGBT+ & Ally Executives - 2016
Professional Woman's Magazine: Best of the Best - Diversity - 2016
DiversityInc.: #7 of Top 50 Companies for Diversity - 2016
National Association for Female Executives ("NAFE"): Top Companies for Women - 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Human Rights Campaign: Best Places to Work - 2015
Black EOE Journal: Best of the Best - 2015
Working Mother: Top 100 Best Companies - 2015 (named for the seventh consecutive year)
Hispanic Network: Top Diversity Employer - 2015
Brandon Hall Group: Excellence in Learning Awards - 2014 (Best Use of Mobile Learning; EDGE Program) 
LinkedIn: The World's 100 Most In Demand Employers - 2014
Profiles in Diversity Journal: Innovation Award - 2014 (Award of Excellence [EDGE Program] for the gamification project)
Agility: We act with a sense of urgency and deliver value through our innovation and execution

Mastercard's concept of diversity is defined as one that extends beyond gender, ethnicity and age to include different thoughts, skills, experiences and backgrounds. As such, it holds that diversity sits at the root of innovation needed to develop novel solutions to meet its customer's evolving needs. (Click here to keep reading)

[1] A discussion of Mastercard's values is on its website, https://www.mastercard.us/en-us/about-mastercard/who-we-are/vision-mission-values.html .  

Spotlight Member Firm: Monty & Ramirez LLP |  Houston, TX MontyRamirez

By: Susan Koval -- Nemeth Law, P.C., Detroit, Michigan

Monty & Ramirez LLP is a law firm focused on the representation of public and private-sector employers in matters involving employment, labor, and immigration compliance issues. 

1.       When was the firm founded and who are the firm's founders?
Monty & Ramirez was founded in 1998 by Jacob M. Monty. Board-certified in Labor and Employment Law, Jacob founded the firm to offer an integrated approach to dealing with Hispanic workforces. He and his bilingual partners address all the critical aspects of employer advocacy, from business and family immigration to union matters, workplace safety, and employment disputes. Jacob's practice extends nationwide; he has represented employers in courts and government investigations in California, Illinois, New York, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and throughout Texas.

2.       Who are the firm's current leaders and how would you describe the firm's culture and personality?
The labor and employment section of the firm is led by Jacob Monty, Daniel Ramirez and Ruth Monty. The immigration section of the firm is led by Sarah Monty and Carolina Ortuzar-Diaz. The firm culture is that of diversity, empowerment, and innovation. The attorneys and staff are from diverse backgrounds and bring different insight and solutions to each case they handle. The Partners have an immense amount of experience which enables them to empower their young associate attorneys to get the most experience possible by going to trial, taking depositions, and bring in their own clients from the start. This develops the associate attorneys because they are performing more substantive tasks and keeps costs lower for clients, while still providing the best representation possible. Monty & Ramirez is innovative with discovering the best possible solutions for their clients. They practice at the intersection of immigration and labor law, which brings a unique set challenges that require innovative thinking and solutions.    (Click to keep reading)
Spotlight Member Firm: Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A.
By: Lauren Hunt - Alvarez Arrieta & Diaz-Silveira LLP, Miami, Florida  

Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. ("QPWB") is the largest minority and women owned law firm in the United States.  QPWB is a full service business law firm offering a wide variety of legal services to public and private companies, professionals, entrepreneurs and individuals.  

1.       When was the firm founded and who are the firm's founders?

QPWB was founded in 1998 by George F. Quintairos and Edward C. Prieto.  The founding partners shared a commitment to diversity and valued the differences they saw in each other and in each of the attorneys and other colleagues who have joined the firm through the years. 

2.      Who are the firm's current leaders and how would you describe the firm's culture and personality?

Eric W. Boyer is the firm-wide managing partner, and since 2005, he has led the firm in setting policy and providing strategic direction.  Mr. Boyer has directed the firm's geographic expansion and grown the firm to over 35 practice areas.  Under his guidance, the firm now has over 365 lawyers practicing throughout twenty offices in Florida, Kentucky, Chicago, Arizona, U.S. Virgin Islands, California, Texas, Michigan, Georgia and New York.  In December 2015, the firm established a Diversity Committee and named Robert Johnson as the Chair and as the Chief Diversity Partner and Inclusion Officer.  The Diversity Committee focuses on initiatives concerning recruitment, retention, business development, professional development and pipeline programs.  The firm culture is focused on diversity with an entrepreneurial spirit to guide both the firm and its clients to success. (Click here to keep reading - there is some great information on Fort Lauderdale in case you are joining us for the Business Meeting)
VendorSpotlightVendor Spotlight - Thomson Reuters                             
By: Sharon Sayles Belton, Vice President of Government Affairs and Community Relations for Thomson Reuters, Legal
In October, Terry Cunningham, the spokesperson for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, issued an apology for "historical mistreatment of communities of color."
The Washington Post quoted Cunningham as stating "[t]here have been times when law enforcement officers, because of the laws enacted by federal, state and local governments, have been the face of oppression for far too many of our fellow citizens." The American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund welcomed the apology. So did I.

Even as we welcome these unprecedented statements of apology, everyone involved realizes there is more to do. So, while we push for the changes in our communities, let's also push ourselves and our communities to inspire greater diversity in the practice of law. By doing so, we ensure diversity is baked into our legal system from how we create laws to how we enforce them and how we defend and serve people in our system of justice.
At Thomson Reuters our corporate diversity and inclusion programs support dozens of initiatives, both outside the company in our business and professional communities, and also internally as we hire, develop and support diverse talent. Driven by these same values, we also partner with organizations and support missions that promote inclusion. And we are especially proud to support NAMWOLF and its members by providing financial support for their work and the involvement of our employees. (Click here to keep reading)
State Mandated Paid Family Leave Is On the RiseMandated
Submitted by the Labor and Employment PAC

By: Kristine V. Ryan Esq., Counsel, Nukk-Freeman & Cerra, PC, Chatham, New Jersey

The United States is often criticized as being the only industrialized nation that does not offer paid parental leave.  While it is true that such a benefit is currently unavailable on a national level, a movement on the part of state and municipal governments to establish paid parental and/or family leave is beginning to fill that void.  Similar to the recent spread of state and local paid sick leave laws that have swept the country in recent years, the passing of paid family leave laws is on the rise, with four states and several local governments marking the tally to date.  Whether such legislation is a trend that will continue remains to be seen.  Regardless, employers should be aware of and prepare for the changing landscape in this area.  (Click here to keep reading)
Submitted by the Transactional PAC
By: Karen R. Cashion, Patrick Law Group, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia

According to Forbes.com, software as a service ("SaaS") revenues are expected to reach $106 Billion in 2016, a 21% increase over projected 2015 spending levels.  SaaS is essentially software on demand, centrally hosted by or through the SaaS vendor and delivered and licensed on a subscription basis over the Internet. SaaS is part of "cloud computing," which includes other computing services delivered on demand over the Internet as well, such as Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).  
(Click here to keep reading)
Submitted by the Trials PAC
By: Ryan L. White,  Boggs , Avellino, Lach &  Boggs , LLC, Saint Louis, MO
In Missouri, attorneys have varying obligations when it comes to performing background checks and research on potential jurors.  There is a distinct timeline for making an inquiry as to a juror's litigation history and informing the trial court of a juror's nondisclosure compared to the timeline for investigating a juror's background for evidence of potential bias and other material nondisclosures.  Missouri courts require a party to conduct a litigation background search or to notify the court of a potential litigation nondisclosure before the jury is sworn, otherwise the party has waived the right to seek relief based on juror nondisclosure.  In contrast, a party may investigate jurors' backgrounds for other purposes, including reviewing social media profiles, without waiving the right to seek relief.  However, such rights must be exercised before opening arguments.  (Click here to keep reading)
Submitted by the Insurance PAC                                                     
For insurers, courts' recognition of their attorney-client privilege is no longer assured.  New York, Washington, and Ohio courts have recently issued opinions articulating unique standards affecting insurers' attorney-client privilege protection, particularly when attorneys take on roles in claim investigations.  Where an insurer consults an attorney regarding its obligations under an insurance policy, courts traditionally recognize that the attorney-client privilege protects confidential communications from disclosure.  But when attorneys perform tasks outside the traditional lawyer role, their communications may likewise fall outside the scope of the attorney-client privilege, leading some courts to reassess the character of attorneys' work and communications concerning claim investigations.   (Click here to keep reading)
Dear Fang: Second EditionFang2

Submitted by the Marketing Best Practices Committee

By: Alicia Smith, Wilson Turner Kosmo LLP, San Diego, CA
Dear Fang:
Social Media. Every time I figure a platform out, it's not popular anymore. Is there a way to stay on top of it?
-          Social Media Mayhem

Dear Social Media Mayhem,
Although it may seem like a new social media platform pops up just when you have learned how to use one, the top professional networking outlets have remained the same for the last handful of years. The most popular being LinkedIn, followed by Facebook and Twitter.
As social media has entangled itself into our culture, the effects of it upon our everyday lives is indisputable. Attorneys use social media to communicate, conduct investigations, research potential jurors, and advertise. According to a survey conducted by the American Bar Association, lawyers report that they interact online for a variety of reasons, with career development and networking leading the way at 71%, followed by client development at 48%, education and current awareness at 45%, and case investigation at 24%. There's no question how beneficial participating in a social media site can be. (Click here to keep reading)
On October 10, 2016 members of the Labor and Employment Practice Area Committee traveled to Walmart headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas for a meet and greet with Walmart in-house counsel, as well as a CLE presentation that was attended by in-house counsel and other Walmart professionals.
Before the CLE presentation, the Walmart Legal Department hosted a networking lunch and connected NAMWOLF lawyers with Walmart in-house counsel. The CLE presentation was made in Walmart's impressive Sam M. Walton Auditorium and over 100 Walmart employees attended.
Kerrie Heslin of Nukk-Freeman & Cerra and Scott Freedman of Walsworth made the first presentation: "Social Media 2.0: New Developments and Persisting Risks to Employers and Social Media Takes Workplace Harassment to a Whole New Level." The program was well received and ended with an audience-participation "game show" contest that became quite competitive. The second presentation was made by Danielle Linert of Giffen & Kaminski and Karina Schrengohst of Royal, P.C.: "Managing Employee Lifestyles and Appearance in the Workplace in 2017." In an example of L&E PAC unity, Miller Law Group initially compiled the PowerPoint presentation that was used during the second presentation and gave consent for use of the materials. (Click here to keep reading)
By: Thomas J. Ko ch,  Pugh Jones & Johnson

On September 22, 2016, 12 attorneys from NAMWOLF, Corporate Counsel from Ingredion, and Chicago NAMWOLF firms attended class with Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade scholars at LEARN South Chicago on the Southeast side of Chicago for the first of three visits in the "Lawyers in the Classroom" series. What a great experience! LEARN South Chicago is LEARN Charter School Network's fourth campus. The mission of LEARN Charter School is to provide children with the academic foundation and ambition to earn a college degree. LEARN serves 4,100 elementary school scholars across ten schools in Chicago, North Chicago, and Waukegan. LEARN South Chicago opened in 2010, and serves 470 scholars in K-8 th grade. It draws upon parents, teachers, community leaders, the students themselves, and on September 22, the family of NAMWOLF attorneys, to further its mission of ensuring its students are on a path of college and career readiness.  ( Click here to keep reading )
NAMWOLF New Member Subcommittee Sees Opportunity for Unrepresented or Underrepresented StatesNew

Do you know a qualified law firm in Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, Utah, Vermont, or Wyoming? The NAMWOLF New Member Subcommittee is looking for both law firm attorneys and in-house counsel to join the committee and help identify qualified law firms in these unrepresented or underrepresented states who may be interested in joining NAMWOLF. Please contact the committee co-chairs, Linda Joseph 
(ljoseph@sjalegal.com) and Maurice Grant (mgrant@grantlawllc.com).
Impressions & Highlights of the Houston Annual Meeting

By: Timothy J. Reckart, Partner, Rusing Lopez & Lizardi, P.L.L.C., Tucson, Arizona
The 2016 Annual Meeting in Houston exceeded expectations.  As has been the norm, new records were set - we reached a new in0house counsel attendance mark.  It was a blessing to see folks whom we had gotten to know from earlier meetings and meet in-house attorneys attending for the first time.  Their interest in and support of NAMWOLF's mission is most welcome and inspiring.  One of the great events in the 2016 annual meeting was the Amazing Race, an appetizer NAMWOLF sponsors before we hit the meat of the meeting.  The Amazing Race at each annual meeting takes on a unique character from the city hosting the meeting.  In Houston, participants enjoyed a Texas-sized driving experience, having to traverse large areas to the attractions located throughout the city.  Teams crossed paths at various parts of the race while fighting distance and traffic as they tried to be the first to reach the assigned destinations.  Jorge Espinosa and Jennie Salazar led the winning team. The virtue of the Amazing Race, and common to all the Amazing Races, no matter the city, is that it is a great opportunity for the team members to bond, work together and solve problems.  In that regard, by all account, this Amazing Race was yet another great success and everyone was a winner. (Click here to keep reading)

NAMWOLF Annual Meeting: First Impressions from a Canadian Guest
By: Tanya C. Walker; Walker Law Professional Corporation ("Walker Law P.C"); Toronto, Ontario
I am a black Canadian female lawyer that has been in practice for a decade. Six years ago, after practicing at two Wall Street law firms for four years (Toronto's equivalent is called Bay Street), I decided to open my own firm on the same street. We quickly grew from having a part-time assistant to now 5 other employees, which includes two other lawyers.  I am the only female and black owned law firm in Toronto (perhaps in the country) that has grown beyond that of a sole practitioner.       
My journey to the 2016 Annual Meeting began at the National Bar Association's 2014 Annual Convention in Atlanta.  I was at Starbucks drinking a coffee and found myself sitting across the table from Andrew Brown, managing partner with the New York law firm Brown Hutchinson LLP, which is a member of NAMWOLF.  We started chatting and I asked him for any tips he could provide on owning a law firm.  Our discussion proved to be one that I didn't want to forget, so I pulled out my notebook and recorded his advice.  The first tip he gave was to join NAMWOLF. 
Following my discussion with Andrew, I researched NAMWOLF and quickly decided that it was an organization I wanted to be part of.  However, I was disappointed to learn that I could not apply be a member because my law firm did not have a presence in the United States.  As luck would have it, in February 2016 I ran into Janice Brown, a board member with NAMWOLF, and proprietor of the NAMWOLF member firm, Brown Law Group, while attending a conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.  I learned more about the organization from my discussion with her and again felt a bit disappointed that I could not apply to be a member. Shortly thereafter, I was invited to attend the NAMWOLF Conference in Houston this year as a guest. ( Click here to keep reading)

LetterEditors A Letter From the Editors.... 
Dear NAMWOLF Members -
Happy New Year! We hope you enjoy this issue of the NAMWOLF Newsletter, which includes highlights from the Annual Meeting in September and recommendations for "must see" sights and "must do" activities during the Business Meeting in Fort Lauderdale next month. We hope you enjoy the issue and please CIRCULATE it to all the members of your firm or organization.
Susan Koval of Nemeth Law recently became our new co-editor of the Newsletter. Our other 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.

Susan Koval
Nemeth Law, PC - Detroit, MI
  Angela France  
PCT Law Group, PLLC - Alexandria, VA